Connect with us


FIRS paid N4.62tn to FG in 11 months



Court tells FIRS: You can’t rake VAT on goods consumed in hotels

…As Seven prospective airlines abandon NCAA’s certification process***

A total sum of N4.62tn has been paid into the federation account between January and November this year by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, figures obtained from the Ministry of Finance have revealed.

The amount is contained in a document presented to the ministry during the Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting.

Details of the revenue payment were obtained on Thursday in Abuja by our correspondent.

The committee, headed by the Minister of State for Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, is made up of commissioners for finance from the 36 states of the federation;  the Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris,  and representatives from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Others are representatives from the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Nigeria Customs Service; Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria

The federation account is currently being managed on a legal framework that allows funds to be shared under three major components -statutory allocation, Value Added Tax distribution, and allocation made under the derivation principle.

The FIRS in the document stated that N4.62tn revenue was collected from three major categories of taxes.

They are Petroleum Profit Tax where the sum of N2.3tn was collected, Companies Income Tax which generated N1.31tn and Value Added Tax where the sum of N1tn was received.

A monthly breakdown of the N4.62tn revenue figure showed the sum of N353.27bn was remitted in the month of January while February, March and April had N450.46bn, N319.08bn and N428.44bn respectively.

For the month of May, the sum of N384.84bn was paid into the federation account while N457.57bn, N408.93bn and N492.58bn were remitted in June, July and August in that order.

For September, the sum of N370.5bn was paid into the coffers of the government while the service also remitted the sum of N473.72bn and N485.51bn in the month of October and November respectively.

The document read in part, “The PPT collection for the month of November 2018, was N232.53bn.

“This performance is lower than that of October 2018, of N276.05bn by N43.51bn or 15.76 per cent. It is also lower than the 2018 approved monthly target of N298.02bn, by N65.39bn.

“The reason for the decrease in the PPT collections was due to lower receipt of PPT.

“The CIT collection for November 2018, amounted to N160.89bn. When compared with the 2018 approved monthly target of N165.28bn, it shows a decrease of N4.38bn or 2.66 per cent.

“This represents a performance level of 73.94 per cent to the target. However, it was higher than the previous month’s collection of N92.5bn by N68.39bn by 73.94 per cent.

“The increase in CIT when compared with the previous month’s collection can be attributed to the receipt of NLNG (Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas) corporate tax payment.”

The FIRS Executive Chairman, Mr Tunde Fowler, had while speaking at the 13th General Assembly Meeting of the West African Tax Administration Forum, said through the deployment of Information Communications Technology equipment, the service had been able to fast track tax payment compliance.

He said, “In Nigeria, we have in the past two years taken the route of increasing the use of Information and Communications Technology in facilitating taxpayers’ compliance and introduced initiatives to improve inter-agency collaboration, all with a view to enhancing tax administration and reduce tax revenue leakages.

“Our efforts in this regard have made an impact and contributed to an increase in the taxpayers roll.”

In the meantime, about seven airlines applying for Air Operator’s Certificate have failed to complete it or have abandoned the process, The PUNCH has learnt.

According to findings by our correspondent, investors apply for certificates to run airlines all the time but many of them take a long time to complete the process, while some abandon it altogether when they are unable to meet the requirements.

The AOC is the approval granted by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to an airline operator to enable it to use aircraft for commercial purposes including charter and cargo operations.

Information obtained from the NCAA showed that as of the end of November, the AOC certification process of seven intending airlines had been declared dormant, while four were on hold.

Before the process was stalled, the airlines had reached different stages out of the five required to get the AOC.

One of the seven intending airlines that had been declared dormant was at the fourth stage, three were at the third stage, one at stage two and two at stage one.

According to findings, one of the intending airlines abandoned the process since 2015, at the second stage.

The General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, said process of getting an AOC could be stalled if the operator failed to return to continue with the procedure or if he failed to meet the requirements at any stage.

“Getting an AOC to run an airline whether scheduled, non-scheduled or private is rigorous and capital intensive and is in five stages,” he said.

The first stage according to Adurogboye, is the expression of interest, where the applicant seeking an AOC makes an initial inquiry. This is followed closely by the second stage of application.

The third stage, he explained, remained the most rigorous and also known as the document evaluation phase, where the applicant would be expected to acquire airplanes, get an office, hire all the personnel for the operation, get insurance, submit his feasibility study and pay commitment fee depending on the flight operations.

He added that at the fourth stage, the operator would be required to carry out flight demonstration, which entailed flying an empty aircraft to and from his intending destination whether local or international before he would get to the final stage, which is the issuance of the certificate, valid for about four years before renewal.

According to Adurogboye, the processes, though capital intensive, are standard practices all over the world to ensure that the operator has what it takes to run an airline.

“It is capital intensive, but you must not have all the money to buy aircraft, you can lease for a start but the planes must be less than 22 years,” Adurogboye said.

Despite the rigorous process and the multi-billion naira involved, many investors apply for AOC from time to time.

Currently, there are about 28 airlines intending to get the AOC for scheduled and non-scheduled operations.

There are also about 31 airlines in the country with active AOCs with eight of them operating scheduled flights.

According to stakeholders, the operating environment makes Nigeria’s airline business one of the most expensive globally without a commensurate ticket price as Nigerian passengers are said to pay one of the lowest fares around the world.

But while many intending operators had fallen by the wayside, other investors are going ahead with it and more people are willing to come into the industry.

The Chairman, Air Peace, Allen Onyema, told our correspondent in a recent interview that the attraction might be due to the glamorous nature of the industry or the crowd they saw at the airports.

He said, “But they forget that Nigerians pay the cheapest fare worldwide and it is only through fares that airlines make money. Even when you carry a full load, you don’t make one per cent gain in Nigeria, you only count losses. All over the world, the gains from commercial aviation is marginal.

“Nobody gains anything here, it only gives you name. And if you are talking about investing, you must think about safety, which means you must be sure of who is in your cockpit and pilots earn a lot. A lot of people come in and close down within months.”

According to him, airlines start making a profit after seven to 10 years if they are able to manage well, adding that even at that, it will also be marginal at about two to three per cent.

The Chief Operating Officer of Dana Air, Obi Mbanuzuo, said most investors coming into the industry were not aware of some of the challenges until they started the process.

He added, “First and foremost, the regulator does not allow you to have just two airplanes for schedule service. Although there are many other things to do in the industry, people don’t do it, they prefer to run an airline, without knowing the challenges.

“The aviation industry is glamorous, so, some moneybags come in without reckoning with the cost. I wouldn’t know who is coming in but the people underestimate the industry and when they come in they understand better.”



LASG Reiterates Ban On Commercial Motorcycles In Restricted Areas



LASG Reiterates Ban On Commercial Motorcycles In Restricted Areas

The Lagos State Government has reiterated that the ban on commercial motorcycles popularly called ‘okada’ in 10 Local Government Areas, (LGAs) and 15 Local Council Development Areas, (LCDAs) in the metropolis still persists.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Hon. Sola Giwa declared this at the weekend, while on tour of some restricted areas within the state, where large numbers of motorcyclists (okada riders) had resumed operations.  

Reaffirming the State Government’s ban on okada in the Local Government Areas which include; Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu, Mushin, Apapa, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Surulere and Eti-Osa, as well as the Local Council Development Areas under them which are; Ojodu, Onigbongbo, Lagos Island East, Yaba and Coker Aguda. With others at; Itire-Ikate, Eti-Osa West, Iru Victoria Island, Ikoyi-Obalende, Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Ejigbo, Bariga and Odi-Olowo, the Transport Special Adviser urged both riders and passengers to keep off.

He implored the general public to comply as both the riders and passengers are liable to 3 years in prison if apprehended and prosecuted, with their motorcycles impounded and crushed in the public view, in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.

While soliciting support on government policies by all and sundry, the Special Adviser noted that despite the available existing interventions and viable alternatives provided for okada operators which were expected to cushion the effect of the ban on their livelihood, the recalcitrant riders have refused to take advantage of them.

Highlighting some of the viable alternatives made available for the operators by the State Government, Giwa stated that the; Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA); (vocational training), Ministry of Wealth Creations and Employment; (internship programmes), Office of Civic Engagement, Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) (Loan for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSMEs), Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme “LEAP”) and the Ministry of Agriculture (Agric YES) are all trade support for the riders.

He also said the State Government’s First and Last Mile Bus Transport Scheme, the BRT Scheme, the Lagos e-hailing taxi Scheme (LAGRIDE) and other sustainable modes of transportation were also part of interventions provided to minimize the inconveniences of the motoring public in executing their daily activities.

Giwa averred that the position of government on okada is very clear, stressing that there is no going back in order to consolidate on the achievements made so far in the decrease in accident and crime rates as well as the return of sanity to the communities within the State.

He added that the Security formations who have been partnering with the State Government including the Nigeria Police Force, the Army, Navy and Air force are still on ground to sustain enforcement on all the banned corridors, as well as the State Traffic Management Authority, (LASTMA) and the Anti-Okada Squad.

Continue Reading


Manufacturers urge FG to dialogue with NLC over plan to picket CBN offices



Manufacturers urge FG to dialogue with NLC over plan to picket CBN offices

…Says Business no longer lucrative***

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), has urged the Federal Government to dialogue with the NLC on its planned picketing of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) offices nationwide.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), President, Joe Ajaero on Wednesday directed workers to embark on strike over the lingering cash crunch and fuel scarcity.

Ajaero also directed that affiliate unions constituting the NLC should be on standby to picket all branches of the CBN nationwide during the strike which is expected to begin on Wednesday, March 29.

Dr Okwara Udensi Edo/Delta Chairman of MAN, in an interview in Benin, said embarking on strike was not the best option as it would compound the present sufferings of Nigerians.

“For us as manufacturers, strike is not the best option, dialogue is the best thing so that we will not suffer more.

“Embarking on industrial action will ground our businesses, road transport workers might join the strike and this will cripple our activities.

“But unfortunately, it seems strike is the language the government understands.

“I read on the news that the CBN says it will mop up the old N500 and N1,000 notes to commercial banks.

“Must people tell them they want to go on strike before they mop up cash to banks, he said.

He regretted that the manufacturing sector had continued to witness high costs of production, a situation that was not good for economic development.

“We now buy diesel for between N820 and N830 per litre, how many litres of diesel will you buy to run your generator to produce?

“Raw materials we used to pay between N350,000 and N400,000 to convey from Jos to Benin City in 2022 is now about N800,000 as of today.

“Business is no longer lucrative, profit margin has been swallowed by the high cost of production.

“Customers are not ready to buy at higher prices, manufacturers are just selling to stay afloat,’’ he said.

Continue Reading


Ojerinde: Absence of ex-JAMB Registrar’s children in court stalls alleged fraud arraignment



Ojerinde: Absence of ex-JAMB Registrar’s children in court stalls alleged fraud arraignment

The absence of the four children of Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, former Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), in a Federal High Court, Abuja, stalled their arraignment on Friday.

 Ojerinde and his children; Mary Funmilola, Olumide Abiodun, Adedayo and Oluwaseun Adeniyi, alongside their companies, were to be arraigned before the court.

Olumide Abiodun Ojerinde was a member House of Representatives at 9th Assembly representing Irepo/Orelope/Olorunsogo Constituency of Oyo State.

The Federal Government, through the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), had, in a charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/119/23, sued the Ojerindes on 17 counts bordering on money laundering.

Ojerinde and his companies are currently facing a money laundering trial before Justice Obiora Egwuatu.

The former JAMB boss was, on Jan. 26, re-arrested by the operatives of the anti-graft commission while he was heading to his car with one of his sons after trial Justice Egwuatu adjourned further proceedings in the charge preferred against him.

ICPC lawyer, Ebenezer Shogunle had, on Feb. 15, notified Egwuatu that Ojerinde was re-arrested on suspicion that he might have committed some other offences not unconnected with the present charges before the court.

He said for this reason, the commission obtained a warrant from the court dated 6th of Dec, 2022 for his re-arrest.

But Ojerinde, in a suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/179/2023, sued the commission for alleged unlawful detention and breach of his fundamental rights.

While Ojerinde’s suit before Justice Egwuatu was adjourned until May 4 for mention, his trial was fixed for the same date for hearing continuation.

The fresh criminal charge against Ojerinde and his children before Justice Ekwo, it was gathered, was connected to the latest finding by the anti-graft commission.

While the FG is the complainant, Ojerinde, Doyin Ogbohi Petroleum Ltd, Cheng Marbles Ltd, Sapati International Schools Ltd, Trillium Learnings Centre Ltd,, Standout Institutes Ltd and Esli Perfect Security Partners are 1st to 7th defendants respectively.

Mary, Olumide, Adedayo and Oluwaseun are the 8th to 11th defendants in the trial.

Although they were not in court, they were represented by a lawyer, Ajibola Bello.

Upon resumed hearing, ICPC’s counsel, Henry Emore, informed the court that the matter was slated for the defendants to take their plea.

He said the 2nd to 7th defendants were corporate persons while the 8th to 11th defendants were natural persons.

Emore said though the defendants were to be arraigned, the 8th to 11 defendants were not in court.

He said the matter was filed on Monday and the court, on Wednesday, graciously gave them today for the defendants to take their plea.

He, however, said they were unable to serve the 8th to 11th defendants.

The lawyer prayed the court for a short adjournment.

Justice Ekwo directed Emore to serve their lawyer in open court since he was present.

“I grant you a leave to serve them now through their counsel. Let the court record shows that this is by leave of court.

“When a lawyer is representing defendants in court, it means that the lawyer knows the contact of the defendants and can reach them,” he said.

The judge, who adjourned the matter until April 19, said: “there shall be consequence if the defendants are not in court in the next adjourned date.”

Continue Reading

Editor’s Pick