By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria has opted out of a global tax deal negotiated under the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OEDC)/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS).
According to ThisDay Newspaper, Nigeria is one of the four countries alongside its African counterpart, Kenya as well as Pakistan and Sri Lanka that exited the deal.
For context, BEPS refers to corporate tax planning strategies used by multinationals to shift profits from higher tax jurisdictions to lower tax jurisdictions or no-tax locations where there is little or no economic activity, thereby eroding the tax base of the higher-tax jurisdictions using deductible payments such as interest or royalties.
Nigeria’s position was predicated, among others, on the unreliability of the economic impact of the deal for developing countries.
The OECD estimates that countries lose $100-$240 billion worth of revenue annually to BEPS practices, which is the equivalent to 4-10 per cent of the global corporate income tax revenue.
The deal set out to introduce a global minimum tax rate and new profit reallocation rules, which aim to give countries a fairer chance to collect tax revenues from multinational enterprises (MNEs) operating in or generating revenues from their jurisdictions.
In a new report titled, OECD Global Tax Deal: Key Elements, Opportunities and Challenges, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) stated that the framework represents a group of countries and jurisdictions working together to address systemic issues within the global taxation system that cause an inequitable distribution of tax revenues among countries and jurisdictions.
It operates under the leadership of the OECD, but any country or jurisdiction is allowed to join and participate.
The global tax deal represents a major reform to the rules governing the international tax system, aimed at bringing an end to tax havens and profit-shifting by multinational enterprises.
The deal specifically aims to address challenges that arise from the digitalisation of the economy and is broken down into two pillars.
Pillar 1 aims to reallocate multinationals’ profits and taxing rights to market jurisdictions while Pillar 2 introduces a global minimum tax rate.
The Inclusive Framework releases the blueprints for the two-pillar solution to address tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy.
A total of 140 tax jurisdictions were part of the Inclusive Framework when the negotiations commenced, the report highlighted.
After the conclusion of the high-level agreement in October 2021, Mauritania joined the Inclusive Framework as the 141st member in November and also agreed to the two-pillar statement.
In total, 137 of the 141 member jurisdictions have agreed to the two-pillar solution while Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka opted out.
However, Nigeria expressed concern with Pillar 1 particularly, claiming that the OECD’s assessment of the economic impact on developing countries was unreliable.
Also, the mandatory dispute resolution element was one of the reasons for Kenya and Nigeria to disapprove of the deal because of concerns around losing sovereignty due to tax issues having to be resolved in residence countries.
Although Nigeria made no disclosures of its own calculations on potential revenue, its conclusion was that it was not worth the high cost of implementation.
Some of the concerns around the deal and reasons why Nigeria and the other countries rejected it included: Lack of transparency in negotiations, exclusion of the majority of developing countries, the issue of too many MNEs out of scope, and limited impact on developing countries, among others.
According to the report, although the agreement was negotiated under the Inclusive Framework, a substantive part of the process was carried out within the G7 and G20.
This in turn made the process less transparent and gives rise to the concern that smaller and less rich countries were not given equal participation.
The newspaper also reported that the deal also excludes companies working in the extractives industry, although this sector has been flagged to be more susceptible to illicit financial flows.
Similarly, although the Inclusive Framework allows all interested jurisdictions and countries to become members, there are conditions and annual fees they have to commit to in order to join.
The majority of African (52 per cent) and Least Developed (78 per cent) countries have not joined the framework.
95% of Insurance Firms Upload Data to NAICOM Server
By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has revealed that 95 per cent of insurance operators have uploaded their data on its platform as instructed within the last one month.
This disclosure was made by the Deputy Commissioner Technical, NAICOM, Mr Sabiu Abubakar, at an event in Lagos. He added that the commission was optimistic that before the end of the third quarter, the remaining 5 per cent will meet up the deadline.
He submitted that online processing of licenses, approvals and data uploading has started for most of the operational requests of the regulated agencies, stressing that issues arising from this application are being addressed promptly and that good progress has been recorded in the uploading of data on NAICOM server.
The insurance regulator official said NAICOM has trained both its staff and the insurance institution on how they use the portal.
On his part, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas, said the NAICOM portal is one of the initiatives the agency was pursuing its efforts to deepen the insurance market and increase the penetration to a level that is consistent with the nation’s economy.
“As some of us may be aware, the Commission in July 2009, embarked on a comprehensive computerization effort tagged project e-regulation that was meant to transform its operational procedures and the conduct of its regulatory responsibilities by providing a robust, world-class ICT Infrastructure to help implement automated business processes internally and for industry-wide supervision via an integrated platform,” he said.
Mr Thomas noted that prior to the development of the portal, the processing of applications required that applicants physically drop off their applications at the commission with their attendant challenges of delays in processing times, and wasted manpower hours due to back-and-forth in application processing as well as ineffective application tracking system.
He then charged those yet to do the required task to help ease operations by uploading their data.
A Thoughtful Approach to Wealth Management
Across the world, as baby boomers (aged 58-76) near and enter retirement, the attendant transfer of wealth between generations is necessitating a thoughtful approach to wealth management, instigated by common storylines such as this:
“I’m 35 years old and inherited $450,000 this year when my father passed away. I used part of the funds to buy a flat in old Ikoyi, and with the help of a financial advisor, invested the rest ($250,000) in a retirement plan.
“We set a budget so that the interest from the leftover principal could help pay my mortgage. I’m not supposed to touch the investment account…right?”
The coronavirus pandemic has also brought on triple threats to lives, livelihoods, and financial markets, causing individuals and businesses to pause and think about their financial priorities and legacy.
On the minds of wealth managers, therefore, will be a myriad of issues, including:
Devising new ways of segmenting and serving clients across the wealth spectrum.
Creating new and more efficient distribution channels by adopting new and enhanced technologies.
Achieving sustainable and inclusive growth for clients.
The fact that wealth and health needs will merge, leads to goal-based wealth platforms.
Africa: Wealth Rankings (by Country)
Where in Africa do the well-to-do reside and in what numbers? The recently released Africa Wealth Report 2022 shows that there are currently 136,000 High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) living on the continent, along with 5,110 multi-millionaires, 305 centi-millionaires and 21 billionaires. It also illustrates that the total private wealth in Africa currently stands at $2.1trn, an amount that is expected to rise by 38% to $3trn in the next decade.
The Future of Wealth Management
The impact of COVID-19 on wealth management organisations and investors is expected to drive both groups to position themselves to thrive in the new normal. For them, this can mean considering several of the following actions as they seek opportunity amidst uncertainty.
Millennials and the ‘Great Wealth Transfer’: Many young people are in line to become extremely wealthy, in what is referred to as The Great Wealth Transfer. Wealth is expected to gradually change hands from one generation to the next before the year 2030.
Without knowledge of money management, saving for the future and smart investing, Millennials could jeopardise their futures. Financial literacy tools will come into play in reinforcing areas of potential strength, such as Logic vs. Emotion (understanding how to manage money based on the risk and potential return); Frugality vs. Extravagance (adopting delayed gratification); and Saving vs. Spending (think retirement accounts, emergency funds).
Younger investors also tend to feel less confident about how to reach their investment goals, which can lead to cautious investing – an irony, as investors with a longer time frame should ideally have the latitude to take more risk.
AI, Machine Learning: Technology such as Artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to make it possible to do far more in less time, and with fewer resources, while Machine learning can help wealth managers recognise patterns, anticipate future events, and create rules – think client calculation engines, modelling and simulation, and analytics. Robo-advising, the trusted AI-driven, virtual wealth management service, will resonate strongly with the tech-savvy Millennial generation and is essential for future wealth management industry growth.
Human and Digital Hybrids: Millennials are currently between the ages of 25 and 40. This is an extensive range. Some of them are definitely keen on self-service, but there is also an appreciable number of affluent millennials who are on the verge of making really complex decisions when they will need human interaction to add real value, through strategic planning and advice. For this group, the key is to not only take advantage of the digital space but also to intersperse it with human interactions – a hybrid scenario.
Transformational Web Delivery via Mobile: Following the initial push to move services online, wealth managers are now cementing a second stage, with a particular focus on ubiquity over-mobile. Websites will deliver an even wider range of services where clients are able to view their investments and transactions, invest in Mutual Funds directly, and place orders to purchase or sell shares, regardless of their location, and while on the go. They are also able to access research reports and insightful market data.
The Planning Effect
Uncertainty should not be a reason to put your future on hold or hamper your ability to grow your wealth and keep more of what you earn. Whether you seek effective funds management, long-term planning, or investment strategy, an experienced wealth management professional can help you develop a personalised plan by carefully assessing your investment preferences and risk tolerance.
CitiTrust Lifts Over-the-Counter Bourse by 0.05%
By Adedapo Adesanya
CitiTrust Holdings Plc played the central role in lifting the National Association of Securities Dealer (NASD) Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange by 0.05 per cent on Thursday, August 11.
This raised the NASD market capitalisation by N550 million yesterday to N1.007 trillion from the previous day’s N1.006 trillion as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) went up by 0.41 points to wrap the session at 765.28 points compared with 764.87 points of the previous session.
On Thursday, the stock price of CitiTrust Holdings Plc rose by 55 Kobo to N11.90 per share from the N11.35 per share it was sold in the Wednesday session.
A look at the trading activity indicated that there was an 86.5 per cent increase in the volume of securities traded at the bourse yesterday to 111,021 units from the previous trading day’s 59,538 units.
However, the value of shares transacted by market participants went down by 41.7 per cent to N2.7 million from N4.6 million just as the number of trades reduced by 43.8 per cent to nine deals from the 16 deals executed a day earlier.
AG Mortgage Bank Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with the sale of 2.3 billion units worth N1.2 billion, (Central Securities Clearing System) CSCS Plc stood in second place with the sale of 686.5 million units worth N14.2 billion, while Food Concepts Plc was in third place with the sale of 147.8 million units valued at N128.4 million.
Also, CSCS Plc was the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 686.5 million units valued at N14.2 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with the sale of 11.1 million units worth N3.3 billion, while FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc in third place has transacted 13.9 million units valued at N1.7 billion.
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