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Reps Wade Into FIRS, NIPOST Stamp Duty Collection Spat

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CBN bank stamp duty

By Adedapo Adesanya

The House of Representatives has taken a huge step to resolve the public spat between the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) over the rightful collector of the stamp duty for the federal government.

Recently, Chairman of the Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, Mr James Faleke, held a session to broker a truce between the two government agencies over the stamp duty matter.

At the meeting, the lawmaker explained that the lower chamber of the National Assembly was determined to resolve the face-off between the FIRS and the NIPOST and the fate of the N58 billion revenue generated from February 2016 to April 2020.

Both the FIRS Chairman, Mr Muhammad Nami, and the Postmaster-General/Chief Executive Officer of NIPOST, Mr Ismail Adewusi, who appeared at the panel on Tuesday described the feud as unnecessary and unhelpful, conceding that it could have been handled in a better way.

“The FIRS regrets that as agencies of the government, FIRS and NIPOST allowed a simple situation to degenerate to media exposure,’ Mr Nami said.

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“It is regrettable that the differences in who controls stamp duty collection between both NIPOST and FIRS had degenerated to a public spat between the two agencies. This is unnecessary and unhelpful,” he added.

The FIRS Chairman said on assumption of office in December 2019, the tax regulatory agency discovered over N30 billion had accumulated in the NIPOST Stamp Duty Account with the CBN.

He said the account opened in 2016 was specifically to keep revenue from stamp duty collection. On a weekly basis, Mr Nami said the FIRS has been generating N3 billion revenue from stamp duty collection from banks from May 2020.

However, by April 2020, he said the balance in the account had grown to N58 billion because of the deployment of the Application Programming Interface (API) by the FIRS. He said by May 2020, money in the stamp duty account was transferred to the federation account following instructions given to the CBN by the body.

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Since then, Mr Nami said both the FIRS and the NIPOST have been at each other’s throats over who controls stamp duty collection and the accruals from the collection.

The FIRS chief said the FIRS was able to generate that much revenue from a single stream of stamp duty collection from deposit money banks due to deployment of a new technology to track and capture such revenue straight into the federation account.

Mr Nami explained that the API solution has made it possible for an online real-time technology that makes the collection of stamp duties easier.

On the part of NIPOST, Mr Adewusi made his case saying the responsibility of procuring stamp rests on NIPOST as part of its mandate stated cleverly in the law.

He said: ‘The issue is, the Finance Act, 2019 did not in any way stop NIPOST from its mandate. In spite of the amendment to the Finance Act, it has not affected the responsibility of NIPOST. There is no fight between NIPOST and FIRS over tax collection.

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“The responsibility of procuring stamp rests with NIPOST, which is entitled to its share of the stamp duty proceeds it collected and domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from 2016 to 2020.

“All the monies that accrued to the account include proceeds of stamp sales. In the spirit of peace, we want FIRS to look at the issue more equitably.

“We deserve in sharing the cost of collection. At the initial meeting, FIRS said they will give us 30 per cent and take 70 per cent, we said no.”

After hearing both sides of the story, Mr Faleke said it would not be proper for the committee to just take a decision, adding that it would need to go back and look at all legal issues raised and reconvene on a later date.

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

NGX Lists 29.4 billion GT HoldCo Shares at N28.55 Each

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GT HoldCo Shares

By Dipo Olowookere

The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited has finally listed 29,431,179,224 ordinary shares of Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GT HoldCo) Plc on its trading platform.

The stocks were admitted on the exchange on Thursday, June 24, 2021, after the delisting of the entire GTBank equities on the same platform.

Business Post reports that the shares were listed today at a unit price of N28.55.

Last Friday, the stock exchange placed trading in the equities of GTBank on full suspension ahead of their delisting to allow the introduction of GT HoldCo shares.

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Today, the GTBank shares were removed from the exchange, a total of 29,431,179,224 and were replaced with 29,431,179,224 units of GT HoldCo.

Confirming this development, the NGX in a circular said, “We refer to our market bulletin with reference number NGX REG/LRD/MB16/21/06/18 dated June 18, 2021, wherein the market was notified that trading in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTB) was placed on full suspension effective Friday, June 18, 2021, in preparation for the delisting of GTB and listing of the Holding Company, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GT HoldCo).

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“The market is hereby notified that the entire 29,431,179,224 issued shares of GTB were delisted from the daily official list of the NGX today, June 24, 2021, while GT Holdco’s entire issued share capital of 29,431,179,224 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each were also today, June 24, 2021, listed on the daily official list of NGX at N28.55 per share.

“The delisting of GTB and listing of GT HoldCo on NGX is pursuant to the Scheme of Arrangement between Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and the holders of its fully paid ordinary shares of 50 kobo each as approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and sanctioned by the court.”

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GTBank restructured its business to allow it to offer more services and improve the earnings and value of the company. This led to the change to a financial HoldCo, with GTBank becoming a private company and will operate as a banking institution.

Other subsidiaries were created to offer services in financial technology (fintech), insurance, asset management and other sectors.

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Economy

June 2021 Allocation to FG, States, LGs Drops to N605.96bn

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June 2021 allocation

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government, the 36 states of the federation and the 774 local government areas shared the sum of N605.96 billion from the revenue generated in May 2021.

This was disclosed by the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) in a communique released on Thursday after its meeting held via virtual conferencing.

Business Post reports that the amount shared by the three tiers of government for the June 2021 allocation was lower than the N616.9 billion disbursed last month.

Giving a breakdown of the disbursement, the committee explained that from the inclusive cost of collection to Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the federal government received N242.1 billion, the states received N194.2 billion, while the local government councils got N143.7 billion.

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The nine oil-producing states of Delta, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers, Edo, Ondo, Imo, Abia and Lagos all received N26.9 billion as a 13 per cent derivation of mineral revenue.

The communique issued by the FAAC at the end of the meeting indicated that the gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) for May 2021 was N181.1 billion as against N176.7 billion achieved in the preceding month of April 2021. This resulted in an increase of N4.368 billion.

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The distribution is as follows; federal government got N25.3 billion, the states received N84.2 billion and local government councils received N58.9 billion.

The distributed statutory revenue of N428.198 billion received for the month was lower than the N497.385 billion received for the previous month by N69.197 billion, from which the federal government received N175.5 billion, states got N89.0 billion, while the LGs got N69.6 billion, and the 13 per cent mineral derivation handed to the nine oil states amounted to N24.666 billion.

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The communique also revealed that Companies Income Tax (CIT), and Oil and Gas Royalties, Import and Excise Duty decreased in the month, meaning only VAT increased in the month under review, although marginally.

The communique, however, disclosed that total revenue distributable for the current month inclusive of gross statutory revenue of N357.9 billion, VAT of N168.4 billion, solid mineral revenue of N7.9 billion, exchange gain of N1.7 billion and augmentation from oil and non-oil revenue of N50 billion and N20 billion respectively brought the total distributable revenue to N605.958 billion.

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Economy

National LPG Takes Sensitization to 12 States

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Domestic LPG

By Adedapo Adesanya

The National Liquefied Gas Petroleum (LGP) sensitization and awareness campaign to reduce gas flare has kickstarted in 12 states across the country.

Speaking at a two-day sensitization and awareness campaign held in Abuja, Mr Dayo Adeshina, the programme manager National LPG expansion implementation plan (NLEIP), said the exercise was the commitment of the climate change initiative to reduce emission by 20 per cent.

He said the National LPG pilot programme, which will start after the sensitization, is to begin in Enugu and Ebonyi States for South-East then to the South-South States of Delta and Bayelsa and in the South West – Lagos and Ogun.

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In the North West are Sokoto and Katsina States; the North East batch will be done in Bauchi and Gombe States while in the North Central, it will kick off in Niger and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He said, “The sensitization awareness campaign is targeted at 12 pilot states, two in each geo-political zone. During the campaign, we will highlight the importance of the LGP to the government and the people.

“Every year almost nine hundred thousand people are affected by the effects of kerosine and charcoal which leads to malaria, the government plan is to display the energy mixture which currently stands at 65 per cent, kerosine 30 per cent, LPG 5 per cent.

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“LPG would ensure accessibility, acceptability and affordability.”

Mr Adeshina said to drive the exercise well, an inter-ministerial committee on LPG was constituted and is being headed by the Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, adding that the composition of the committee shows the commitment of the federal government to the expansion and implementation of LPG in Nigeria.

“So, to make it available, some of the policy directives were worked on and past in 2017, the government will remove necessary bottlenecks,” he said.

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LPG is a fossil fuel closely linked to oil. As a fuel, it is used for cooking, lighting, and central heating. It is a clean-burning, non-poisonous, dependable and high-performance fuel stored and transported in containers as a liquid, but is generally drawn out and used as gas.

LPG has a very wide variety of uses, mainly used across many different markets – agricultural, recreation, hospitality, calefaction, construction, sailing and fishing sectors – as an efficient fuel.

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