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Road Infrastructure Tax is to Bridge Nigeria’s Revenue Gap—Nami

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Road Infrastructure Tax

By Adedapo Adesanya

To help cover Nigeria’s revenue shortfall, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it is proposing the introduction of road infrastructure tax by making the informal sector contribute to building a modern society.

The Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr Muhammad Mamman Nami said this when a delegation of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) led by its National President, Mr Chris Isiguzo, met him in Abuja.

Mr Nami said the proposed road tax to be administered by the FIRS will provide the government with adequate funding for road construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance, as well as providing the needed security for roads in the country.

According to the FIRS boss, “One quick and very important intervention required of you is in the area of the Road Infrastructure Funding Scheme that the country needs in order fix our roads and bringing the informal sector to the tax net.”

He noted that in many jurisdictions, road users pay for the use of road infrastructure, adding that this should not be seen as an additional burden on the people because it has the potential of making life better for all.

Speaking further, Mr Nami stated that Nigeria’s economy presently relies heavily on non-oil revenues to discharge its statutory responsibility of paying salaries and providing social amenities to the citizenry.

“Without the tax that you pay, governments at all levels would not be able to fulfil their mandate to the electorates. Tax money also helps to ensure the roads you travel are safe and always in good condition,” he said.

He disclosed that the recent rise in the price of crude oil ordinarily should have impacted positively on the Petroleum Profit Tax payable by oil-producing companies. However, it has shown otherwise due to some reasons.

On the challenges facing the service of delivering on its mandate, he said “crude oil production has been limited by OPEC quota. Nigerian OPEC quota as at July 2021 was about 1.5 million barrels per day as against its crude oil production budget of 1.8 million barrels per day.

“This is a shortfall of 300,000 barrels per day. Our average daily crude oil production is around 1.250 million barrels per day as against the allocated 1.5 million barrels per day OPEC quota which has resulted in a shortfall of almost 250,000 barrels per day mainly caused by crude oil theft and force majeure declared by some of the IOCs.

“The total shortfall to FGN budgeted production is about 550,000 barrels per day.

“Huge losses brought forward and un-recouped capital allowances reported by most of the companies due to production shut in and the fall in oil price in 2020 as a result of the covid-19 pandemic which reduced their revenue.“

He said with challenges in the oil and gas sector, reforms have been carried out by the agency with a visible impact on the economy such as the deployment of technology in tax administration to improve domestic revenue mobilisation in view of dwindling oil prices.

Mr Nami added that the service created 10 Value Added Tax, VAT, Regional Coordination Offices across the country to drive collection of VAT.

He said, “We have commenced the usage of VAT Form 002A for enrolment and tracking of branch offices of major VAT payers. This will certainly improve our VAT collection and capacity. We achieved 114.66 per cent of our VAT collection target in the first half of the year.

“It will interest you to know that the service collected a total of N4.2 trillion between January to September 2021. This feat was achieved as a result of the efficiency and effectiveness of the TaxProMax Solution and intelligence/data we gathered, mined and analyzed in the period under review.

“The service successfully facilitated both the mock and external audits for the ISO 27001:2013 certification of the Exchange of Information (EOI) centre, to meet international information security management standards.”

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

Investors Gain N1.09bn as NASD Share Price Rises 9.1%

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NASD Exchange

By Adedapo Adesanya

The unlisted securities market closed the last trading session of the week on a positive note after it appreciated by 0.18 per cent on the back of growth in the share price of NASD Plc.

Business Post reports that the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to the bulls’ territory on Friday after it closed flat on Thursday.

NASD Plc was the major driver of the return of the bourse to the green region as its value went up during the session by N2.45 or 9.1 per cent to close at N26.99 per unit in contrast to N24.54 per unit it closed at the previous session.

As a result of this, the NASD unlisted security index (NSI) moved up by 1.32 points to 745.44 points from 744.12 points, while the market capitalisation gained N1.09 billion to wrap the day at N615.86 billion in contrast to the previous day’s N614.77 billion.

On the activity chart, there was an improvement as the trading volume surged by 34,985.6 per cent because of the 2.3 million units of shares exchanged by market participants compared with the 6,688 units transacted at the previous session.

In the same vein, the trading value rose by 17,680.6 per cent to N63.4 million from the previous day’s N356,563.60, while the number of deals witnessed a 100 per cent rise as investors carried out 12 deals compared to the six deals executed at the previous session.

At the close of trades, Food Concepts Plc was the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 11.4 billion units of its shares worth N14.4 billion, Lighthouse Financial Service Plc followed with 1.1 billion units valued at N546.2 million, while Geo Fluids Plc was in third place with 1.0 billion units worth N700.1 million.

Food Concepts Plc was also the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with 11.4 billion units worth N14.4 billion, trailed by Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc with 456.4 million units valued at N9.2 billion, VFD Group Plc with 10.4 million units valued at N3.5 billion.

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Economy

Naira Trades N414.73/$1 as Cryptos Bleed Heavily

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Cryptos

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira appreciated against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the foreign exchange (forex) market by 0.02 per cent or 7 kobo on Friday, December 4.

Data showed that the local currency was sold for N414.73/$1 at the investors’ window yesterday compared with the N414.80/$1 it traded on Thursday.

At the final trading session of the week, the turnover was $103.01 million as against $139.67 million achieved at the preceding session, indicating a $36.66 million or 26.62 per cent decline.

Also, the exchange rate of the Naira to the United States currency recorded a movement on Friday, though downward as the Nigerian currency depreciated by 4 kobo as it closed at N411.74/$1 versus the preceding day’s N411.70/$1.

The local currency, however, appreciated by N2.17 against the British Pound Sterling to settle at N546.26/£1 compared to N548.43/£1 it traded at the previous trading session and 57 kobo against the Euro to trade at N465.68/€1 compared to the preceding day’s N466.25/€1.

At the cryptocurrency market, investors counted a heavy loss as the new variant of the coronavirus called Omicron and hawkish comments by the US Federal Reserve that it could raise interest rates have raised serious concerns, causing cryptos to bleed heavily.

The heaviest loss was suffered by Dash (DASH), which plunged by 35.3 per cent to sell for N66,595.85. Ripple (XRP) depreciated 30.6 per cent to trade at N381.85, while Litecoin (LTC) sold for N66,595.85 after declining by 24.1 per cent.

Dogecoin (DOGE) went down by 22.7 per cent to sell at N90.29, Cardano (ADA) depreciated by 20.8 per cent to N652.82, Bitcoin (BTC) depleted by 16.9 per cent to quote at N26,800,504.20, Ethereum (ETH) equally saw a 16.9 per cent depreciation to trade at N2,100,100.39, Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 12.9 per cent depreciation to trade at N218,577.24, Tron (TRX) went down by 12.7 per cent to trade at N48.00, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) recorded a 0.1 per cent marginal loss to sell for N554.76.

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Economy

Crude Mixed as Market Remains Unsettled by Omicron Jitters

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Crude Oil Prices

By Adedapo Adesanya

Crude prices closed mixed on Friday, December 3 after erasing earlier big gains on growing worries that rising coronavirus cases and a new variant could reduce global oil demand.

Brent crude gained 21 cents or 0.3 per cent to trade at $69.88 per barrel while on the other hand, the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude lost 24 cents or 0.36 per cent to sell at $66.26 per barrel.

Both benchmarks declined for a sixth week in a row for the first time since November 2018.

Oil prices had witnessed one of the most troubled weeks as the market reeled from the fear brought about by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus with speculations that it could spark new lockdowns and dent fuel demand.

The World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries to vaccinate their people to fight the virus, saying travel curbs were not the answer.

Even with this, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) surprised the market on Thursday when it stuck to its plans to add 400,000 barrels per day supply in January.

However, it said it will continue to monitor the market and this could make it change course if demand suffered from measures to contain the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The alliance said they could meet again before their next scheduled meeting on January 4.

Analysts noted that with the coronavirus cases rising, the US jobs report for November also didn’t help demand outlook even as the unemployment rate plunged to a 21-month low of 4.2 per cent, suggesting the country’s labour market was rapidly tightening.

US employment growth slowed considerably in November amid job losses at retailers and in local government education.

Meanwhile, in Vienna, diplomats attempting to restore the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers face substantial challenges that need urgent solutions, the top European envoy said Friday. Talks are set to resume next week.

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