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JTB: From 10m in 2015, Nigerian taxpayers soon to hit 45m

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The number of taxpayers in Nigeria has increased from 10 million in 2015 to 14 million in 2017, to 19 million in 2018 and about to hit 45 million in 2019.

According to the Joint Tax Board (JTB) led by Tunde Fowler, chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian taxpayer roll will soon hit 45 million.

The board says Fowler’s FIRS has fostered an uncommon collaboration between the States Internal Revenue Services, SIRSs and the FIRS resulting in several collaborative projects in the last five years.

Oseni Elamah, executive Secretary of JTB, said in Abuja on Monday, that the ongoing integration of databases will fetch the nation a total of 45 million individual and corporate taxpayers.

Elamah said this on Monday when he presented a report on the new Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Registration System to Fowler, in Abuja.

Elamah also said that the JTB has completed the building of a new TIN Registration System which is an integration of TIN numbers of various organisations in Nigeria, adding that the growth of the taxpayers’ database is a major flank of the goals of the JTB in collaboration with the apex tax authority, the FIRS.

“When the integration of the new TIN Registration System is launched, it will afford prospective taxpayers the opportunity to register for tax from the comfort of their homes and print their registration certificate” Fowler said.

Fowler expressed happiness over the completion of the new TIN Registration System and said that the system would encourage transparency, efficiency, and convenience in tax administration in Nigeria.

“I congratulate the JTB for finalising the new TIN Registration System in record time. We now have a consolidated database for all taxpayers in Nigeria.

“If you (a taxpayer) go to any other country or visit another state in Nigeria and they want to check your tax status, what this means is that they can check your tax status by a touch of a button. We want to assure all taxpayers that we are ready to serve them more with technology, convenience and accountability,” Fowler added.

Benefits of the new TIN Registration system

Speaking on the benefits if the system, Elamah said: “State Revenue Authorities are expected to enjoy immense benefits from the new TIN System”.

“Among these are: Taxpayer Information Accessibility and Accuracy: the registration and recording of taxpayer information is one of the fundamental functions of tax administration and to a great extent, this will drive how other core administrative functions operate,” Elamah added.

“The timely and accurate collection and recording of basic identifying information of the taxpayer will permit the tax administrator to understand its taxpayer base, staff itself accordingly and to effectively plan other core administration functions. The existence of an accurate taxpayer database will inevitably lead to effective compliance programmes observation.

“The redesigned, development and deployment of a TIN system leverages on existing taxpayer data available from databases of multiple organisations like CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission, banks through BVN (Banks Verification Number), Identity Card Management Commission and other.

“It is a web-based solution with centralised management of all the various functions of the TIN registration system offering and accessible to authorised users of the system for reviews and approvals of registration requests, TIN certificate issuance and integration with relevant stakeholders.

“It makes possible integration and exchange of data with sister state Boards of Internal Revenue, FIRS and other third party organisations through web services”.

TAXPAYERS: From 10m to 45m?

According to JTB, there were 10,006,304 people registered for personal income tax purposes in all the states of the federation including the FCT as of 2015/6.

Out of this, about 4.6 million or 46 percent were registered with the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS).

Updated data, quoted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo shows that only 14 million economically-active Nigerians paid taxes in 2017 — a number which increased to 19 million as at May 2018.

Going by the latest disclosure from JTB, it is suggested that Nigeria’s taxpayers base will have increased by over 25 million in the when Nigeria eventually hits 45 million.

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Awosika Replaces Belo-Olusoga as Access Bank Chairman

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Mrs Ajoritsedere Awosika has been announced as the new Chairman of Access Bank Plc. She will replace the present occupier of the position, Mrs Mosun Belo-Olusoga, who is expected to retire in January 2020.

A statement issued by the lender explained that Mrs Belo-Olusoga will retire from the post on January 8, 2020 on completion of her maximum 12-year term limit allowed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Code of Corporate Governance for Banks and Discount Houses.

In the statement, Access Bank said Mrs Belo-Olusoga, who became the Chairman of the board in July 2015, confirmed that she has no disagreement with the board and there are no issues relating to her retirement that need to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the company or the regulatory authorities.

‘The board of directors of Access Bank Plc is pleased to announce that its Chairman, Mrs Mosun Belo-Olusoga, will be retiring in January 2020.

“This follows her completion of the maximum 12-year term limit allowed by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Code of Corporate Governance for Banks and Discount Houses. Mrs Belo-Olusoga became the Chairman of the Board in July 2015.

“Mrs Belo-Olusoga has confirmed that she has no disagreement with the Board and there are no issues relating to her retirement that need to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the Company or the regulatory authorities,” a part of the notice read.

It also thanked Mrs Belo-Olusoga for her contributions to the bank’s transformational growth, wishing her successor, Mrs Awosika, success in her new appointment.

The lender said the appointment of Mrs Awosika as its new Chairman was in line with its robust leadership succession plan so as to lead the company to its the next phase of transformation into becoming Africa’s Gateway to the World.

Mrs Awosika joined the board in April 2013 as an Independent Non-Executive Director and has been the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board Credit and Finance Committee and the Board Audit Committee respectively in addition to membership of other Board Committees.

She is an accomplished administrator with over three decades experience in public sector governance. She was at various times, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministries of Internal Affairs, Science & Technology and Power.

Mrs Awosika is a fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacy. She holds a Doctorate degree in Pharmaceutical Technology from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom.

She is the Chairman of Chams Plc and Josephine Consulting Limited and a Non-Executive Director of Capital Express Assurance Ltd.

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Seplat Picks CFO Brown to Replace Avuru as CEO

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The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Mr Roger Brown, will from August 1, 2020, be the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the energy firm.

A statement from the company said Mr Brown will take charge of day-to-day activities of Seplat upon the retirement of the present CEO, Mr Austin Avuru, who steps down on July 31, 2020,

For a decade, Mr Avuru piloted affairs of the company, making it a strong organisation, with the deployment of agile systems, processes and stakeholder relationships that allowed the firm to grow rapidly from  a gross production of 22,700 boepd as at December 2010 to peaks of 111,368 boepd gross production as at December 2018 through major drilling campaigns and major new Oil and Gas plants development.

The acquisition of 40 percent of OML 53, post company’s IPO of 2014, created an opportunity in partnership with NNPC, to spawn a mid-stream subsidiary, ANOH Gas Processing Company Ltd currently progressing what will ultimately be a 300MMscf/d of Gas, 22,500bdp of condensate and 1,200boepd of LPG processing company.

Seplat said it could not have achieved all these without Mr Avuru’s leadership skills, personal dedication and hard work, at the head of the company.

“The board of Seplat is grateful to Mr Avuru for these accomplishments and is looking forward to his continued service at the board level,” the statement said.

The energy company said looking forward, it plans to position itself for a next phase growth ambition which would see the expansion of its footprint in terms of energy business activities, a plan to pursue offshore assets as well as opportunity driven entry into different geographies.

The company said it believes that such a corporate transition would require a different kind of organisational structure, people skills set and mentality to compete well in the expanded space, noting that in view of this, it would be reviewing its current organisational and systems structure.

It said to lead the aspiration, it had to settle for Mr Brown to succeed Mr Avuru as CEO so as to lead the restructuring during the transition period between now and final exit date of the present leader.

Mr Brown joined Seplat in 2013 as the CFO and played a key role in the successful dual listing of the company in 2014. Since he joined the firm, he has played significant roles in various asset acquisitions by the company.

Prior to joining Seplat, Mr Brown was an advisor to the company since 2010 while he was the Managing Director and head of EMEA Oil and Gas at Standard Bank Group.

During his time at the bank, he was instrumental in providing advice and deploying capital across the African continent in the oil/gas, power/infrastructure and the renewable energy sectors.

“Mr Brown brings to the CEO role, a deep knowledge of the company in his 6 years as the CFO and a member of the board. He has strong financial, commercial and M&A experience as well as proven people skills which will be an asset as the company embarks on the next phase of its growth plan,” the statement stated.

“While we thank Mr Avuru for a meritorious service, we welcome Mr Brown and wish him every success in his upcoming new role,” the company concluded.

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El-Rufai backs border closure, says ‘some countries closed their borders for centuries, decades’

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has backed Federal Government’s closure of land borders.

According to him, it is unfair for smaller countries to be sabotaging a big country like Nigeria.

El-Rufai who was a special guest at the graduation of Senior Course Three of the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, Abuja on Friday said the step taken was commendable.

He explained that Nigeria like any other country like to trade with other countries but added that there must be fairness.

The governor noted that closure of the borders should be sustained until there were established deals that covered every country.

“The partial closure of borders is highly commendable. Nigeria is the largest country in West Africa and the continent and it is clear that our neighbours are using our openness and brotherhood to trade, to exploit us.

“I fully support and subscribe to the closure of borders and we should sustain it for as long as possible.

“We need to do this for our country to have a fair deal and for our manufacturers to be protected.

“All those talking about free trade or preaching about it today closed their borders for centuries and decades ago.

“Nigeria must grow its own internal capacity, we will not do so if we allow our neighbours to use the porosity of our borders to sabotage our economy,’’ he explained.

El-Rufai, however, commended the physical development at the Customs Command College in Gwagwalada.

He lauded the effort of the current Customs boss for his reform agenda.

“I am impressed with what I have seen on ground in terms of physical development as well as the content”.

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