Lagos Urges Hoteliers, Event Centres To Embrace New Tax Payment System

Launches Electronic Means To Ease Compliance, Remittance Process

Lagos State Government on Thursday launched a new regulation for the fiscalization of the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Tax Law, with a charge on stakeholders in the hospitality industry to embrace the initiative designed to put efficient machinery in place to enhance collection process and ensure compliance.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting held at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja to sensitize owners of hotels, restaurants, bars and event centres in the State on the new regulation, State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode said automation of the system was introduced to address the high level of under-payment and non-remittance of what is due to government, however assuring that it would be a win-win situation for all parties.

Governor Ambode, who was represented by the State’s Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule said it was important for all stakeholders to play their part in scaling up taxation being one of the ways government is able to fund its activities and implement projects and policies for the overall benefit of the people.

Addressing the stakeholders, the Governor said: “As progressive partners in the development of our dear State, we solicit for your co-operation and support at actualizing this noble initiative.

“All hoteliers, event centre proprietors, restaurant and bar owners must allow the integration of their systems along with the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) server to facilitate the monitoring of consumption tax transactions and remittance of same to the State.

“We must be alive to our responsibilities by paying taxes due in order to ensure the development of our dear State,” he said.

The Governor said since his assumption of office, conscious efforts have been made to invest heavily in infrastructure, and that more funds were required to enable government actualize the objective of providing adequate infrastructure and services for residents, a development he said necessitated the need to embrace the fiscalization of the consumption tax regime.

He said despite harsh economy, the 2017 budget of the State performed at 82 per cent with N503.7billion total generated revenue representing 78 per cent performance, while total recurrent expenditure stood at N281.33billion representing 72 per cent and N387.60billion capital expenditure representing 76 per cent performance.

He said though a lot was achieved in that regard last year but that to enable the State Government achieve the target for 2018, the commitment of all residents and business owners was necessary especially in payment of their taxes.

“Our objective is to rely less on Federal funding and more on self-funding. The automation of processes and leveraging on technology are key to the development of any nation and that is what the fiscalization project has come to address.

“Nigeria has moved from its current position on ease of doing business index from 169 to 145, which is encouraging. This is partly attributable to the reforms and processes put in place by the State,” he said, adding that the electronic invoicing system was part of the reforms to improve on the index and enhance revenue.

Besides, the Governor said the LIRS has been mandated to work with the Office of the Attorney General to ensure that tax defaulters are brought to book.

Earlier, LIRS Chairman, Mr Ayo Subair said the deployment of the fiscalization system in the hospitality sector was a further demonstration of the resolve of the State Government to continually embrace global best practices in its administration of the State.

He said under the new regime, all the collecting agents would benefit immensely from the high level of transparency the system will bring to their operations in respect of recording of sales as they will have access to all transactions as they occur irrespective of their locations.

Also, Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade said despite the improvement in the ease of doing business ranking, Nigeria was still behind in paying taxes ranking, a development he said bought about the new fiscalization regulation.

LIRS Introduces E-Payment For Remittance of Consumption Tax

Urges consumers to demand ERA system receipts

In its effort to leverage on e-payment and multi-modal payment portals, the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has unveiled an automated invoicing system and technology device, Electronic Revenue Assurance system (ERA), at a stakeholders’ meeting held with hotel and business owners in the hospitality and Tourism sector of Lagos state at the Banquet Hall, State House, Alausa, Ikeja on Thursday, February 22, 2018.

With the theme “Fiscalization of hotel occupancy and restaurant consumption tax law” The stakeholders’ meeting highlighted the benefit of improving profit, sustenance of cash flow and reduction in revenue leakage for hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, bars and event centers owners in Lagos state through the ERA device.

In his eloquent speech at the official unveiling of Electronic Revenue Assurance system (ERA, His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State ably represented by the Deputy Governor of Lagos state, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule reiterated his commitment to make Lagos state one of the largest economy and smartest cities in the world.

He enjoined the residents and business owners in Lagos state to key into the new ERA by promptly paying their consumption taxes through the newly introduced technology

”Funds are required to enable government to actualize its objective of the provision of adequate infrastructure and services for the residents of expected of a mega city. Prompt payment of taxes is the way in which government is able to finance its activities.”

According to the Chairman of LIRS, Mr. Ayodele Subair, “The hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, fast food outlets, bars, event centers among others serve as agents of the government for the purpose of remittance of 5% consumption tax collected from customers through the LIRS new technology, Electronic Revenue Assurance System (ERA). The chairman also stated that the commencement of the new system takes effect immediately as LIRS officers will be visiting hospitality places to install the software and train their staff on the use of the new device.

The Electronic Revenue Assurance System (ERA) is a software application/device that issues invoices and receipts to consumers bearing a unique QR code. The receipt will also contain detailing of the items and/or services ordered and an embedded automation of Consumption Tax remittance in real time.

In his speech, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade stated that “The hotel occupancy and restaurant consumption tax Law is not a new law but an existing law. The device is to ensure efficiency and compliance of remittance of consumption tax from the owners of Hotel, Restaurants, Nightclub and Events centres in the state.

He assured that the protection of consumers and collecting agents’ details are confidential and will be used only for tax purposes.

Reacting to the newly introduced device, the President of Lagos hoteliers association, Mr. Adekunle Akilo noted that sensitization and training process for effective utilization of the device should be continuous to help business owners and consumers in the hospitality industry fully embrace the technology.

President of Association of fast food confectioners of Nigeria, Mrs. Kehinde Kamson stated “We will support Lagos state government on compliance and 100% remittance. However, the government through its agency, LIRS should create a level playing ground for all levels of business in the hospitality industry by initiating this device across the board especially the informal sector or unstructured businesses.

Incentive for consumption taxpayers, the LIRS is determined to give back to loyal consumption taxpayers who request for their receipts generated from the ERA System for an opportunity to participate in a draw and win attractive prizes.The LIRS urges consumers and customers of hospitality places in Lagos State to always demand for the ERA system receipts in the overall interest and benefits of all.

 

CSR: UBA Foundation Brings Comfort to Students of  Usman Danfodiyo University, Commissions  Link Bridge

UBA Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility Arm of Pan- African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has completed the construction of a pedestrian bridge primarily for students of the Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto State, thus bringing comfort to students of the institution.

The construction of the bridge,  valued at about N13m was commissioned on Monday, by the Governor of Sokoto State, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal,

For over four decades, the students of UDUS, especially those living off-campus had found it tedious to connect the campus as the area was impassable, especially during rainy season. They couldn’t get in and out of their dormitories and to the mosque easily and were going through an uncomfortably long route to get to lectures.

In August 2017,  at the  National Dialogue Series organised by the Students’ Union Government (SUG) of the school , the Chairman of UBA Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu acceded to the request of the students who had informed him of their plight and promised to assist them.  UBA Foundation came to their aid.

At the opening ceremony of the newly constructed bridge, the UBA GMD, Kennedy Uzoka expressed delight at the prompt completion of the project and reminded the students that UBA  remained committed to easing the day-to-day challenges of  the citizens, and especially students living within and beyond its areas of operations, adding that the core values of the bank – excellence, enterprise and execution – is aimed at putting the customers and society first. This, he noted prompted the bank’s intervention, adding that ensuring customers’ satisfaction and giving back to the people were a focal point for the bank and the UBA Foundation.

He said, “As an institution, we are passionate about giving back to society through UBA’s Foundations’ components: Empowerment, Education and Environment. This construction falls under the area of education and environment. We want to be a role model with uniqueness not by coincidence but by physical commitment ‎and strengthening of our good will in advancing the course of humanity through our foundation. We have been doing this over the years by sponsoring essay competitions and indigent students to institutions across African countries where we operate.

We believe in meritocracy, industry, entrepreneurship and mentorship of young students to become good ambassadors of the country in their endeavours.” Added Uzoka

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who was represented at the ceremony by Secretary to the State Government, Professor Bashir Garba commended Elumelu, the bank  and the UBA Foundation for the gesture that adds value to the institution. Whilst calling for other stakeholders to emulate the actions of Elumelu, he noted that education in itself is capital intensive that requires the participation and support of corporate stakeholders to succeed.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Abdullahi Zuru also noted with pleasure the philanthropic gesture of Elumelu in building hope and strengthening value-adding relationship to the institution and especially to the youths.  He explained that the edifice commissioned was vital to the day-to-day movement of students for their daily academic and other extracurricular activities.

According to him, for the past four decades, the students had not been finding it easy especially during the rainy season which affected their movement through the passage due to the mushy nature of the spot. “We reached out to a number of organisations but thank God UBA heeded our call and came through for us in a big way. It is now the shortest way for our students particularly now. We deeply appreciate Elumelu and the UBA family. The edifice which has side lights will serve us in no small way,” he stated.

In the recent past, UBA Foundation has intervened in the infrastructure development of universities across Africa with donation of ICT centres, hostels, recreational parks among many others.  Beneficiaries of such interventions include Universities of Ilorin, Benin, Lagos, Ekpoma and many others.


Okonjo-Iweala Gets Commonwealth Appointment

Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been appointed into a High-Level Group on Governance of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Her appointment was contained in a statement by Ben Maloney, Communications Officer, Commonwealth Secretariat, revealing that the High-Level Group would make recommendations on governance of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The Commonwealth, however, denied that the group was constituted to secretly begin considering who might succeed the Queen as its head.

“At their last Summit in Malta, Commonwealth Heads of Government directed the Secretary-General to form the Group,” the statement read.

“Today members are discussing the scope of the group’s work and the areas of governance it will examine over the coming months.

“The process is open and the High-Level Group reports to the heads.

“The issue of succession of the Head of the Commonwealth is not part of the Group’s mandate.”

The statement said the group will be chaired by Anote Tong, former President of Kiribati (2003 to 2016).

Other members of the seven-member group includes Lord Howell, former British Energy Secretary; Louise Frechette, former UN Deputy Secretary-General; and Robert Hill, former Australian Defence Minister.

Dame Miller, former Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados and Dr George Vella, former Foreign Minister of Malta are also members of the group.

The group operates independently of the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat and would report only to the heads of Commonwealth governments. However, further members may be appointed.

Foluso Phillips Leads Nigerian Trade Mission To South Africa March 11

Chairman of the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce (NSACC), Mr. Foluso Phillips, is leading a trade mission of Nigerian firms to South Africa for the first NSACC trade mission since the inauguration of the new President of South Africa, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa.
The mission will take place from March 11-17, 2018 and will bring together leaders in business to focus on creating opportunities for Nigerian businesses, as well as strengthening Nigeria’s economic and trade relationships with South Africa.

The relationships that are born out of these meetings will foster incredible partnership for Nigeria and South Africa economically and culturally for years to come.

The mission begins with a stop in Johannesburg on Monday, March 12, 2018 where there will be excursion and media coverage for delegates by South African Tourism. This will be followed by a business seminar by the Gauteng Growth Development Agency in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Tuesday, March 13, 2018.

The visit will continue with a seminar on “Nigeria Economic Outlook 2018” by South Africa-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce in Johannesburg, and a business seminar by Western Cape Investment and Trade Promotion Agency (WESGRO) in Cape Town on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

These sessions will unite business executives to illustrate an unprecedented strength of economic growth, and showcase the business and job opportunities available to both interdependent economies.

The breaks in-between these sessions will serve as an opportunity for more personal one-to-one interaction between those at the event. These smaller scale discussions will enable a more critical and mutual understanding of culture and economy, which would not be possible in presentation settings.

These steps will not only help to build bridges between companies but initiate the strategic partnerships that can mutually benefit the growth of the parties involved.

On Friday, March 16, 2018, there will be another excursion and media coverage for delegates in Cape Town by South African Tourism.

The South African High Commission and Consulate are both ready to provide visas to delegates.

Intels Shortchanges Nigeria – Reps Panel

A House of Representatives adhoc panel said yesterday that Intels has been shortchanging Nigeria in view of the revelations made by the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman.

The panel, which is investigating the circumstances that led to the sudden termination of a contract between Intels and NPA headed by Deputy Chief Whip Pally Iriase, was angry that the management of Intels did not deem it fit to appear before it during a public hearing.

Members of the panel described Intels action as an act of impunity, saying they would not tolerate that. They rejected a representative of the company, who is its legal supervisor, Mr Kenneth Irabor.

They wondered why a company that is at the centre stage of the probe could not send its head to appear before the panel.

The lawmakers were appalled that over the years, Intels has been operating a contract with the NPA and remitting only what it deemed fit to the government without any sharing formula.

The NPA MD, while responding to questions from members, said based on the contractual agreement entered with Intels before her assumption of office, there was no sharing formula from revenues collected by the company on behalf of NPA.

She said they gave Intels the opportunity to remit whatever it liked to the government, but that when she assumed office, she initiated a supplementary agreement that would allow for a sharing formula of 30 percent to NPA and 70 percent to Intels.

She said some international oil companies (IOCs) had written NPA several letters saying they would prefer to be paying their fees to government accounts instead of through Intels account.

“The agreement provides for Intels to collect 28 percent of revenues (management fee). There was no distribution formula. It was Intels that decided how much it would give to NPA. I feel that Intels shouldn’t be the one to decide on how much to give NPA,” she said.

At this point, Iriase said: “It’s apparent that Intels has been shortchanging Nigeria. Yes, we have to say it. This is a company that we’re trying to see that justice is done to, but they have been shortchanging us since they decide on their own what to give government.”

Bala Usman also said she has given Intels an ultimatum to pay the outstanding debt of $48 million that it owes NPA between November, 2016 and November, 2017.

 

49 Passengers Escape Death As Dana Air Plane Crashes In Port Harcourt

Just after the embarrassment of an emergency door falling off on landing in Abuja, Dana Airlines is enmeshed in another aviation near mishap, this time in Port Harcourt.

Reports said the airline’s plane, coming from Abuja,  overshot the Port Harcourt  runway on Tuesday night and ended up in the bush.

The marooned Dana Airline plane 5N-SRI now parked in the bush

Photographs and tweets said there was no injury to the 49 passengers as they were evacuated from the marooned plane. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria also confirmed that all passengers were safely evacuated.

Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said: “A Dana aircraft flight 9J0363, flying from Abuja to Port Harcourt airport, has overshot the Port Harcourt runway.

“The incident was suspected to have been caused by a heavy rain, which was accompanied by strong wind and storm in Port Harcourt.

“No casualty was recorded, as all passengers on board were safely evacuated.”

Mr Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), also confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He said the aircraft was partially damaged after it overshot the runway.

“I learnt the runway has been closed but it will be reopened before the next 30 minutes after inspection has been carried out on it.

“Forty-nine passengers were on board and safely evacuated. The aircraft came in from Abuja to Port Harcourt, “he said

Since its last crash on 3 June 2012 in Ishaga, Lagos, Dana Airlines has always been under a radar of suspicion by Nigeria’s air passengers.  The crash then killed all the 159 passengers on board, including some people on the ground, where the plane crashed.

Want To Maximize Your Financial Capacity in 2018? Attend the Online Live Event with Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, FirstBank MD and Others

Are you a woman? Are you passionate about financial empowerment and entrepreneurship? Would you like to know the secrets to profitable investment and wealth creation? Then you are in luck!

On the 21st of February 2018, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, Chairman First Bank of Nigeria Limited will be discussing these issues alongside other panellists at the FirstGem Virtual Portal Launch, online live on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Periscope. Other panellists will include MD, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Media Entrepreneur, Japheth Omojuwa and Founder, Smart Money Africa, Arese Ugwu. The event will be anchored by delectable on air personality, Aderonke Adebanjo.

FirstGem, an initiative of FirstBank, is a product designed specifically to meet your financial needs as a woman. It does not matter if you are a working professional, an entrepreneur, a business leader or a student, FirstGem was created to empower you to achieve your financial goals and aspirations.

As a member of the FirstGem community, you get:

  • Special access to funding and business advisory services.
  • Helpful information on how to save, invest and build personal wealth for yourself.
  • Regular updates on business opportunities, finances and how to slay in the market place.
  • Special promotions and discounts at selected outlets that offer lifestyle products and services (spas, grocery stores, event centres, etc)
  • Opportunities to interact with other like-minded women on women issues.

This virtual launch is an event open to every woman. The launch will be live streamed via Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Periscope from 12pm – 1pm on Wednesday the 21st of February, 2018. You will be able to ask FirstBank Chairman, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika; FirstBank MD/CEO, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan and other panellists all your entrepreneurship, business and money questions. Don’t miss it!

To join the event, join the session from noon on Wednesday 21st February on the following channels:

British Deputy High Commissioner Hosts Private Screenjng of Mo Abudu’s New Movie, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel

The British Deputy High Commissioner, Laure Beaufils, last Sunday, 18 February, hosted a private screening of “The Royal Hibiscus Hotel”, the new blockbuster movie, produced by Mo Abudu.

Here are pictures from the event

 

 

 

 

 


 

60 Hearty Cheers To Eyimofe Atake, SAN, PhD(Cantab), Author, Style Icon, and Much More

Today, Tuesday, February 20, Dr. Eyimofe Atake, SAN, turns 60.

How would someone begin to write the story of the legal luminary, who began to display his intelligence and leadership quality right from childhood? Atake was elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria after 12 years of being called to the Bar at the age of 41. The equivalent of an English Queen’s Counsel.
Little wonder, many look forward to celebrating his birthday and have promised to honour him with their presence at the bash.

Although a source revealed that despite his astounding success in life, the Senior advocate has proved that he is not one to make noise about birthday celebrations.
Today, he is a shining star in the nation’s legal firmament. He is not a pushover when it comes to legal matters. He is a brilliant mind and even a delight in courtrooms.

Undoubtedly, he sits atop one of the biggest law chambers in Nigeria. Besides, he is one of the few businessmen in Nigeria who can rub shoulders with top businessmen around the globe.
Many years after he floated his business, he resolved to pursue his dream on a global stage. Though it looked an impossible task at the time, he has succeeded in engraving his name on the hearts of his compatriots.

Atake attended Copford College, Colchester, Essex. where he was a school prefect, house captain, athletics captain, table tennis captain, and played football and rugby for the school.
He was at the London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London); and Darwin College, University of Cambridge, where he obtained a doctoral degree in Law.

Via Thisday