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Economy

LIRS Whistle-Blower Initiative Will Promote Accountability—Group

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Whistle-Blower Initiative

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has been commended for introducing a Whistle-Blower Initiative aimed to boost the trust of taxpayers in its activities.

According to a civil society organisation, Vanguard for Transparency and Accountability, this policy will promote openness, and accountability and ultimately enhance citizens’ participation in governance and then put the agency under public scrutiny.

In a statement, the president of the anti-corruption crusade group, Mr Paulycap Nnabuogor, said the LIRS led by Mr Ayodele Subair has done well to sustain its pace-setting records in tax management reforms in Nigeria.

He expressed optimism that the initiative will strengthen and re-invigorate frontiers in the fight against fraud and corruption and put both the management and the staff of the agency on their toes to deliver their statutory roles in compliance with the global best practices.

“We are not particularly surprised that the Lagos State government chose the LIRS as a pilot scheme for its Speak Up programme because of the reforms the Subair-led management of the revenue agency had carried out internally to boost its operations and enhance the capacity of its workforce.

“Undoubtedly, this initiative shows that the activities of civil society organisations like ours are beginning to bear fruit and Nigeria is the ultimate winner.

“Before the birth of the Whistle-Blower Initiative, we were aware of the efforts of the LIRS management to promote accountability within the system and the importance Subair particularly attached to the welfare of his staff.

“Our findings show that the LIRS maintained the payment of performance allowances to the staff, and doesn’t joke with the prompt release of other pay including wardrobe allowances, particularly to the staff at both the legal and relationships units all geared towards enhancement of performance.

“More so, we found out that the decision to introduce a computer-based test for promotion, which is handled by independent assessors, has encouraged high-fliers within the system to grow rapidly and underlined why the agency has maintained its status as the best-performing tax collecting board in the country. Subair’s Award of Recognition by the Joint Tax Board of Nigeria is a testimony of his achievements as the agency has always met its revenue target even during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Subair restated the commitment of the LIRS management to the welfare of its staff, strengthened by the belief that a motivated workforce will lead to greater productivity.

“We take our workforce’s welfare and career development as a key metric in our journey to consistently deliver our statutory role as a revenue agency.

“In 2019, we approved a 70% salary increase for staff from Assistant Revenue Manager and below, and a 50% increase for Revenue Manager and above. This is the most significant salary review in the Agency to date. A total of 3,608 members of staff were promoted between 2017 to 2021 and all our staff do not pay for standard medical services.

“We also ensure that performance bonuses are paid to all staff, based on clearly defined and documented processes while Union dues are remitted timely and correctly with all other statutory deductions such as pensions,” the tax man said.

He added that the consequential adjustment of salaries has been agreed upon in principle and payment modalities are currently being worked out by management, stressing that all are geared toward ensuring that the agency serves the people of Lagos State effectively.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

Again, FrieslandCampina Pulls Down OTC Bourse by 0.23%

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OTC stock exchange

By Adedapo Adesanya

FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc, for the second consecutive session, dragged the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange down by 0.23 per cent on Wednesday, October 5.

This happened as the milk-producing company recorded a N1.15 loss to close the midweek session at N73.85 per unit compared with the previous day’s rate of N75.00 per unit.

Consequently, the market capitalisation of the OTC bourse went down by N2.25 billion to wrap the day at N960.50 billion, in contrast to Tuesday’s N962.75 billion.

Equally, the NASD unlisted securities index (NSI) recorded a drop of 1.71 points to wrap the session at 729.63 points compared with the preceding day’s 731.34 points.

The number of shares transacted during the session went up by 40.5 per cent to 41,217 units from the 29,331 units transacted on Tuesday, while the value of the shares depreciated by 4.1 per cent to N2.1 million from N2.2 million, with the number of deals carried out by investors rising by 225 per cent to 13 deals from the four deals executed in the previous session.

AG Mortgage Bank Plc ended the trading session as the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, CSCS Plc stood in second place with 687.7 million units worth N14.3 billion, and Mixta Real Estate Plc was in third place with 178.1 million units valued at N313.4 million.

Also, the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis was still CSCS Plc with the sale of 687.7 million units for N14.3 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 27.7 million units worth N7.4 billion, and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc was in third place with 14.4 million units valued at N1.7 billion

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Economy

Equity Market Falls 0.09% as Investors Lose N25bn

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equity market size

By Dipo Olowookere

Trading activities remained in the bearish region on Wednesday on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited despite the upbeat about the listing of Geregu Power Plc on the exchange.

The local equity market depreciated by 0.09 per cent yesterday as a result of the persistent profit-taking triggered by inflationary pressures as investors leave the market for other assets that can give them returns closer to the 20.52 per cent inflation rate.

When the market closed for the session, the All-Share Index (ASI) decreased by 43.04 points to 48,836.70 points from 48,879.74 points as the market capitalisation dwindled by N25 billion to N26.354 trillion from N26.379 trillion.

The industrial goods space remained flat for another trading day, while the insurance counter closed higher by 0.21 per cent, with the banking, energy and consumer goods sector depreciating by 0.98 per cent, 0.27 per cent and 0.18 per cent, respectively.

Cadbury Nigeria recorded the highest fall as its value went down by 9.93 per cent to N12.25, Northern Nigerian Flour Mill declined by 9.33 per cent to N6.80, PZ Cussons fell by 9.19 per cent to N8.40, Cornerstone Insurance retreated by 8.93 per cent to 51 Kobo, and Unity Bank lost 6.82 per cent to trade at 41 Kobo.

The highest price gainer for the midweek session was the new boy, Geregu Power, as its share value rose by 10.00 per cent to N110.00. Multiverse gained 9.88 per cent to sell for N4.45, Red Star Express appreciated by 9.43 per cent to N2.32, Sovereign Trust Insurance chalked up 8.00 per cent to quote at 27 Kobo, and Japaul garnered 7.69 per cent to settle at 28 Kobo.

The most active stock for the day was Chams, which sold 25.5 million units worth N7.4 million and was trailed by GTCO, which sold 19.5 million units valued at N341.0 million. Sterling Bank transacted 9.9 million shares for N15.2 million, Geregu Power traded 8.5 million equities worth N935.0 million, and Transcorp exchanged 7.2 million stocks for N7.5 million.

At the close of business, the market recorded the sale of 135.5 million stocks worth N2.2 billion in 4,041 deals compared with the 173.5 million stocks worth N2.4 billion traded in 4,926 deals on Tuesday, representing a decline in the trading volume, value and number of deals by 21.87 per cent, 7.12 per cent and 17.97 per cent, respectively.

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Economy

Naira Appreciates to N733/$1 at Black Market, Weakens to N437.50/$1 at I&E

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Bitcoin Naira

By Adedapo Adesanya

The exchange rate of the Naira to the American Dollar at the black market closed at N733/$1 at the black market, data obtained by Business Post from foreign exchange (forex) traders on the streets showed.

On the previous day, the Naira was exchanged with the United States currency at N740/$1, indicating that the local currency appreciated within 24 hours against its American counterpart by N7.

Also, in the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment of the FX market, the Naira appreciated against the US Dollar yesterday by N2 to close at N747/$1 in contrast to the previous day’s value of N749/$1.

However, in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the market, the Nigerian currency depreciated against the greenback in the midweek session by 47 Kobo or 0.06 per cent to settle at N437.50/$1 compared with Tuesday’s value of N437.03/$1 as forex traders executed transactions valued at $70.42 million during the session.

In the same vein, the domestic currency suffered losses against the Pound Sterling and the Euro in the interbank segment of the market on Wednesday.

On the Pound Sterling, the indigenous currency lost N21.64 to trade at N491.52/£1 versus the previous day’s N469.88/£1 and against the Euro, it lost N9.16 to close at N429.91/€1 compared with Tuesday’s rate of N420.75/€1, according to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Meanwhile, in the digital currency market, bullishness continued in Bitcoin (BTC) as the coin added 1.3 per cent toits value to trade at $20,386.63, with Ripple (XRP) recording a 5.4 per cent gain to sell at $0.5016.

Ethereum (ETH) appreciated by 1.8 per cent to sell at $1,376.18, Dogecoin (DOGE) gained 1.5 per cent to trade $0.0659, Solana (SOL) recorded a 1.1 per cent rise to sell at $34.41, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 0.7 per cent climb to quote at $0.4354, as Binance Coin (BNB) also recorded a 0.7 per cent appreciation to trade at $296.48.

However, Binance USD (BUSD) recorded a 0.05 per cent depreciation to settle at $0.9999, Litecoin (LTC) declined by 0.02 per cent to $54.80, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) closed flat at $1.00.

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