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Economy

NEPZA, FIRS to Modify Free Trade Zones Tax Guidelines

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tax guidelines

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have agreed to adjust some sections of the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on effective tax administration to accommodate some salient concerns.

The agencies had on June 7 signed the tax pact to reconcile grey areas in the administration on issues bordering tax deductions from free zones and enterprises operating in the zones respectively.

A cross-section of the stakeholders had raised concerns about some sections of the guidelines that contravene some provisions of the NEPZA Act for operators in the free trade zones.

The agreement to adjust the MoU was reached on Wednesday during a formal presentation of the document to the stakeholders at a roundtable organised by NEPZA in Lagos.

Mr Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director, NEPZA, explained that the event was to make adjustments where necessary on how the FIRS and NEPZA would treat tax issues relating to business interactions within the free trade zone ecosystem.

He noted that Section 5 of the MoU had given parties the leverage to call for the amendment of the tax guidelines when necessary.

“The authority’s recent diplomatic advances with sister agencies, especially, the FIRS can only be described as a game changer.

“We have always insisted that the free trade zone scheme must be allowed to succeed as that truly remains a potent economic instrument for widespread growth and development.

“Therefore, we have agreed to adjust the tax pact to capture some of the salient concerns of the stakeholders.

“The authority will not shy away from protecting the scheme and those who have invested billions of dollars in the scheme and we are delighted that the FIRS has become our advocate in this regard.

“We are also happy that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has given us the impetus through his favourable policies to deepen the growth of the scheme,” he said.

On his part, Mr Mohammed Nami, Executive Chairman, FIRS, said concerns of the stakeholders would be evaluated, adding that the document was a flexible guideline on how to administer the MoU.

Mr Nami, represented by Mr Mathew Gbonjubola, Coordinating Director of the organisation, noted that not all the concerns raised were genuine, saying that the FIRS was knowledgeable enough on issues around free trade zone tax administration.

He explained that the FIRS would not unduly interrogate tax remittances of enterprises with full status of free trade zones, noting that all other issues raised on the tax pact would be addressed within two months.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Crude Oil Exports Jump 88.6% to N11.53trn in Six Months

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crude oil exports

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigeria earned N11.53 trillion from the export of crude oil in the first half of 2022, according to the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), jumping by 88.6 per cent compared with N6.11 trillion recorded in the first half of 2021.

In its Foreign Trade Statistics for the Second Quarter of 2022, the NBS noted that crude oil export in the first six months of 2022 accounted for 79.47 per cent of total exports in the period under review, while it also accounted for 44.62 per cent of total trades in the same period.

Giving a breakdown of crude oil exports in the first half of 2022, the NBS stated that in the first quarter of the year, crude oil valued at N5.621 trillion was exported by the country, while in the second quarter, N5.908 trillion was exported.

In comparison, in the first quarter of 2021, the NBS said Nigeria earned N2.043 trillion from crude oil exports, while in the second quarter, N4.072 trillion crude oil export sales were recorded. Furthermore, in the third and fourth quarters of 2021, Nigeria recorded crude oil export of N4.026 trillion and N4.269 trillion, respectively.

The country’s statistical authority put Nigeria’s total trade in the first half of 2022 at N25.843 trillion, comprising N13.001 trillion and N12.841 trillion in the first and second quarter of the year, respectively; while total export trade for the first half of 2022 stood at N14.507 trillion, with N7.1 trillion and N7.407 trillion export recorded in the first and second quarter respectively.

Specifically, the NBS reported that in the second quarter of 2022, crude oil ranked as the most exported commodity in the country, with 79.77 per cent of the country’s total export.

Furthermore, the statistics agency stated that the most of Nigeria’s crude oil export in the second quarter of 2022 was to European countries, with the continent purchasing Nigeria’s crude oil valued at N2.737 trillion; followed by Asia, with N1.916 trillion; while countries in America purchased N861.937 billion.

Africa accounted for N355.853 billion of Nigeria’s crude oil export, while N36.459 billion worth of Nigeria’s crude oil was exported to Oceania.

India emerged as the highest buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil, with N1.009 trillion worth of the commodity shipped to the country in the second quarter; followed by the Netherlands, with the purchase of N886.314 billion worth of Nigeria’s crude oil; while N854.859 billion crude oil was exported to Spain.

Other major crude oil export destinations were Indonesia, N614.954 billion; United States, N488.356 billion; Italy, N253.817 billion; Sweden, N232.152 billion; Canada, N226.704 billion; France, N192.273 billion and Ivory Coast, N191.425 billion.

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Economy

Purchasing Managers’ Index Hits Five-Month High of 53.7

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Purchasing Managers' Index

By Adedapo Adesanya

Stanbic IBTC’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) hit a five-month high of 53.7 points in September, up from 52.3 in August and signalling a solid strengthening in the health of the private sector at the end of the third quarter.

According to the index, the end of the third quarter of 2022 saw growth gather momentum in the Nigerian private sector.

This was corroborated by sharper rises in output, and new orders, while there were emerging signs of capacity pressures. Cost inflation largely remained elevated due to currency weakness while business confidence waned.

The headline PMI rose by 1.4 points to 53.7 points, indicating that the improvement in business conditions was the most marked since May.

Readings above 50.0 signal an improvement in business conditions, while readings below 50.0 show a deterioration.

In line with the headline figure, both output and new orders increased at sharper rates during the month. Firms often linked higher new business to rising demand, with some reporting that customer referrals had supported growth. In turn, output rose for the third month running and at the fastest pace since April.

Rising new orders, and some reports of difficulties securing the necessary funding, resulted in a renewed increase in backlogs of work during September, the first in 28 months.

Companies also increased their staffing levels and purchasing activity, largely in response to greater new business volumes.

In both cases, however, rates of expansion eased from the previous survey period. Higher purchasing activity fed through to a further accumulation of inventories.

In a statement, the lender noted that, “Purchase costs rose sharply, with anecdotal evidence often linking higher prices to currency depreciation. Meanwhile, staff costs increased at the fastest pace in three months. Panellists reported that efforts to motivate staff and help them with higher living costs had been behind salary increases.

“With overall input costs again rising at one of the sharpest rates since the survey began, Nigerian companies increased their selling prices accordingly. Although marked, the rate of charge inflation slowed sharply and was the joint-weakest in 21 months. Suppliers’ delivery times continued to shorten, often as a result of strong competition among vendors. The latest shortening of lead times was marked and the most pronounced in four months.

“Despite the improving growth picture in September, firms reported waning confidence in the year-ahead outlook. Sentiment remained positive overall but was the lowest since August 2021 and among the weakest on record. Those firms that expressed optimism often mentioned business expansion plans.”

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Economy

Value of NASD OTC Exchange Rises by N16.09bn in Week 39

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Nigeria's Unlisted Securities Market Sheds 0.78%, NASD Shares up 8.31%

By Adedapo Adesanya

The 39th week of trading in 2022 at the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange saw an expansion of 1.69 per cent as investors gained N16.09 billion in the five days of trading.

According to data from the bourse, the market capitalisation, which measures the value of the trading platform, grew to N968.60 trillion from the N952.51 billion it closed in week 38.

Also, the NASD OTC Securities Exchange Index rose by 12.24 points to close at 735.79 points, in contrast to the 723.56 points of the preceding week.

Business Post reports that the positive outcome for the week was influenced by three stocks led by Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, which improved by 13.1 per cent to N14.17 per share from N12.53 per share. NASD Plc appreciated by 7.7 per cent to N14.00 per unit from N13.00 per unit, while FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc increased by 6.7 per cent to N78.00 per unit from N73.00 per unit.

In the week, the share price of Niger Delta Exploration & Production (NDEP) Plc went down by 6.5 per cent to N186.00 per unit from N199.00 per unit.

As for the activity level, the value of trades went down by 65.1 per cent to N52.8 million from N151.3 million, while the volume of transactions decreased by 97.8 per cent to 571,164 units from 25.3 million units, with the number of deals rising by 8.7 per cent to 50 deals from the preceding week’s 46 deals.

NDEP Plc was the most active stock by volume in the week with the sale of 226,728 units, followed by NASD Plc with 202,500 million units, CSCS Plc transacted 80,380 units, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc recorded 36,808 units and 11 Plc traded 22,168 units.

In terms of value, the most traded stock was also NDEP with N42.3 million, followed by 11 Plc with N3.8 million, NASD Plc exchanged N2.8 million, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc traded N2.7 million, while CSCS Plc traded N1.5 million.

on a year-to-date basis, investors have transacted 3.5 billion units of securities worth N26.7 billion in 2,169 deals.

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