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Poor tax collection: Fowler replies Buhari’s query

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The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, has responded to a memo from Abba Kyari, the chief of staff to the president, who said there were significant variances between the tax budgeted collections and actual collections for the period 2015 to 2018.

However, Fowler in his response explained that the recession experienced by the Nigerian economy in 2016 as well as lower oil prices affected the revenue collected by the FIRS.

See Fowler’s response: “I refer to your letter dated 8th August, 2019 on the above subject matter and hereby submit a comprehensive variance analysis between budgeted and actual collections for each main tax item for the period 2012-2018 as requested (see appendix 1).

“Your letter stated that actual collections for a 3-year period were significantly worse than what was collected between 2012 and 2014. Total actual collection for the said period wasN14,527.85 trillion, while total actual collection between 2016 to 2018 was N12,656.30 trillion.

The highlight of these collection figures was that during the period 2012 to 2014, out of the N14,527.85 trillion, oil revenue accounted for N8,321.64 trillion or 57.28% while non-oil accounted for N6,206.22 trillion or 42.72% and during the later period of 2016 to 2018, out of the N12,656.30 trillion, oil revenue accounted for N5,145.87 trillionor 40.65% and non-oil revenue accounted N7,510.42 trillion or 59.35%.

FIRS management has control of non-oil revenue collection figures while oil revenue collection figures are subject to more external forces.” He wrote: “The non-oil revenue collection grew by N1,304.20 trillion or 21% within the period 2016 to 2018.

“Kindly note that the total budget collection figure during 2012 to 2014 stood at N12,190.52 trillion compared to N16,771.78 trillion for the period 2016 to 2018, which represent an increase of 37.58%.

“Please note that the variance in the budgeted and actual revenue collection performance of the Service for the period 2016 to 2018 was main attributed to the following reasons:

“1. The low inflow of oil revenues for the period especially Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) was due to fall in price of crude oil and reduction of crude oil production. Notwithstanding government efforts to diversify the economy, oil revenues remains (remain) an important component of total revenues accruable to the Federation. The price of crude oil fell from an average of $113.72, $110.98 and $100.40 per barrel in 2012, 2013 and 2014 to $ 52.65, $43.80 and $54.08 per barrel in 2015, 2016 and 2017. There was also a reduction in crude oil production from 2.31mbpd, 2.18mbpd and 2.20mbpd in 2012, 2013 and 2014 to 2.12mbpd, 1.81mbpd and 1.88mbpd in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively.

“2. The Nigerian economy also went into recession in the second quarter of 2016 which slowed down general economic activities. Tax revenue collection (CIT and VAT) being a function of economic activities were negatively affected but actual collection of the above two taxes were still higher in 2016 to 2018 than in 2012 to 2014. During the years 2012, 2013 and 2014, GDP grew by 4.3%, 5.4% and 6.3% while in 2015, 2016 and 2017 there was a decline in growth to 2.7%, -1.6% and 1.9% respectively. The tax revenue grew as the economy recovered in the second quarter of 2017.

“3. It is worthy of note that strategies and initiatives adopted in collection of VAT during the period 2015-2017 led to approximately 40% increase over 2012-2014 collections. In 2014 the VAT collected was N802billion, compared to N1.1 trillion in 2018. This increase is attributable to various initiatives such as ICT innovations, continuous taxpayer education, taxpayer enlightenment, etc embarked upon by the Service.

“4. Furthermore, it is pertinent to note that when this administration came on board in August 2015, the target the target for the two major non-oil taxes were increased by 52% for VAT and 45% for CIT. Notwithstanding the increase, FIRS has in line with the Federal government’s revenue base diversification strategy has grown the non-oil tax collection by over N1.304 trillion (21%) when the total non-oil tax collection for 2016-2018 is compared to that of 2012-2014.

“I am confident that our current strategies and initiatives will improve revenue collection and meet the expectations of government.

“Please accept the assurance of my highest regards.”

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Kano Matters

UNODC vows to compliments efforts to stem the tide of corruptions. – Professor Shehu.

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By Adamu Aminu, Kano.

The senior anti-corruption policy and advocacy advisor of United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Professor Abdullahi Shehu has reiterated United Nations commitment towards giving needed supports towards reducing the prevalence of corruption in the affected countries.

Professor Shehu made the disclosure during a 2-day stakeholders meeting on gender and corruption: second corruption survey on Nigeria, held in Kano.

He added that it is awesomely clear that Kano is the first state among its counterparts across the federation, which have constituted anti-corruption agency on its giant strides to tame the tide of the menace.

” The measures taken by Kano state government towards fighting corruption and all its components is a welcoming idea and worthy of commendation,” he said.

Adding that the development prompted the United Nations to look for various avenues of complimenting its efforts towards reducing the negative tides of corruptions to the barest minimum.

While enumerating the reasons for holding the present event in Kano, Professor Shehu said Kano is a melting pot, embedded with many advantages which the participants from across the federation would have easy access of conveying themselves by air, and motorable roads particularly to participants coming from the northern states.

In his comment, Chairman, Kano State Public Complaints and anti-corruption commission (PCAC) Barrister Muhuyi Magaji said the meeting entitled ‘second corruption survey report in Nigeria’ was quite fruitful based on the extensive discussion focused on various surveys made by the united nations agencies.

“It was quite commendable that, according to the survey made by the agencies, the present prevalence of corruption in Kano is not alarming, the charts are moderate,” Muhuyi said

Adding that the time to enlightened the general public about the dangers of corruption is over, what is rightly needed is taking drastic action to tame the soaring tide of corruption which have eaten deeply into the fabric of our society.

The 2-day event ended today, Friday which was graced by various government functionaries and members of federal and state anti-corruption agencies.

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Compound Fools! Edochie Blasts Men Who Kneel Down To Propose!

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Veteran Nollywood actor, Pete Edochie has lived up to his Okonkwo macho character in Things Fall Apart as he Thursday faulted the idea of Nigerian men kneeling to propose to women for marriage, calling those who engage in such as fools.

Edochie, in a video circulated on social media, on Thursday, said the idea is an imitation of the European’s culture, stressing that the African culture should not be neglected.

In his words, “Any young man who gets on his knees to propose to a girl, is not just an idiot, he’s a bloody fool, a compound buffoon.”

He boasted of his 51 years marriage with his wife saying  “I have lived with my wife for 51 years, nobody has come to say ‘please stop beating this woman’. Is it hatred that united us?”

In his words, “We are trying to copy white people, right? I believe in the sacrosanctity of our culture, the essence and the core of our culture.

“The white man kneels down to propose to a girl, you know what it means? The girl takes over the family. This is why whenever you disagree with your wife overseas, you are kicked out and the wife takes the house. As a young man, you should be in charge of your destiny. Kneeling down for a woman makes you a fool.”

Edochie’s statements have generated divided opinions on Twitter, as some of those who reacted lambasted the revered actor for making such statement in this 21st century.

Others argued that Edochie spoke from experience, considering he has been married for over 51years.

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Wole Olanipekun,Lateef Adegbite,Afe Babalola,all SANs on the team as APC urges supreme Court to reverse Lyon’s sack

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has returned to the Supreme Court with an application urging the court to reverse its decision disqualifying its candidate in the last governorship election in Bayelsa State, Lyon David Pereworimin.

The APC, in an application filed on Thursday by its team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), with Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) also wants the Supreme Court to set aside the “wrong” interpretation given to its judgment of February 13, 2020 and the subsequent execution by the Independent National. electoral Commission (INEC).

The party is among others, contending that the Supreme Court, in its judgment, misinterpreted the November 12, 2019 judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja which it (the Supreme Court) affirmed.

The APC argued that the Supreme Court acted without jurisdiction and denied it (the party) fair hearing when it proceeded to disqualify its governorship candidate even though the Federal High Court, in the judgment by Justice Inyang Ekwo, which the apex court affirmed, refused the plaintiffs’ prayer to disqualify Lyon.

The party also faulted the interpretation given to the Supreme Court judgment by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in deciding to issue certificate of return to the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

It stated: “After reinstating the judgment of the trial court in the judgment of this honourobie court of the 13th February, 2020, in SC.1/2020 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) & 2 Ors. v. Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo & 3 ors., this honourable court proceeded to disqualify the governorship candidate of the applicant (Lyon David Pereworimin) despite the fact that the trial High Court refused to grant the reliefs for his disqualification and there was no appeal against same.

“In this honourable court’s judgment of 13th February, 2020, the court erroneously and inadvertently stated that the trial High Court consequentially disqualified the applicant‘s governorship candidate even though the trial court made no such order and when the trial court indeed refused to grant the express orders sought by the plaintiffs therein for his disqualification.

The APC, particularly wants the Supreme Court to set aside portions of its judgment where it held that the Federal High Court, in disqualifying its Deputy Governorship candidate, proceeded to disqualify its governorship candidate; and where it held that joint ticket of its candidates was vitiated by the disqualification of the Deputy Governorship candidate and that both candidates are deemed not to be candidates in. the election.
It further prayed the Supreme Court to set aside the portion of the judgment where it ordered INEC to declare as winner of the governorship election, candidates with the highest number of lawful votes; and where it ordered INEC to withdrew the certificate of return issued to its governorship candidate and the issuance of fresh one to the candidate who had the highest number of lawful votes.

The APC argued that it was wrong for the Supreme Court to have voided its candidates’ participation in the election, when, the judgment by the Federal High Court, disqualifying its deputy governorship candidate, was stayed as at when the election was conducted.
It stated: “By an originating summons dated 12th September, 2019, in Suit NO: PHC/ABJ/CS/ 1101/2019 between Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) & 2 Ors. v. Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo & 3 ors., the respondents approached the Federal High Court for a total of 10 reliefs.
In the judgment of the Federal High Court, per Ekwo J., delivered on 12th November. 2019, the said court granted only 6 (six) of the reliefs.
“In the drawn up order of the Federal High Court duly signed by the trial judge the 6 (six) reliefs granted are clearly encapsulated therein.

“In specific reference to the reliefs for the disqualification of the governorship candidature of the applicant (Lyon Dovid Pereworimin), the trial court refused to grant the plaintiffs’ prayers to disqualify him.

“It was only the Deputy Governorship candidate of the applicant (Biobarakuma Degl-Eremienyo) that the trial High Court made an order of disqualification against.

“Applicant and its governorship and deputy governorship candidates timeously appealed the judgment of the Federal High Court to the Court of Appeal, and also applied for a stay of execution of the said judgment pending appeal.

“By on order mode on 13th November 2019 in CA/A/1053/M/2019 between Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo & Anor v. Peeples Democratic Party & ors., the Court of Appeal. Abuja judicial division, stayed the execution of the judgment of the trial High Court delivered on 12th November, 2019.
“As at the time the governorship election in Boyetso State was conducted on 16th November 2019 the order for stay of execution granted by the Court of Appeal was subsisting and there was no appeal against it.

“The judgment of the Court of Appeal was delivered on 23rd December, 2019 whereby the Court of Appeal set aside the decision of the trial High Court delivered on 12th November. 2019.
“There was no cross-appeal to the Court of Appeal against the decision of the trial High Court refusing to make an order disqualifying the governorship candidate of the applicant (Lyon Dovid Pereworimin).
“In the judgment of this honourable court delivered on 13th February, 2019 this honourable court set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal and restored the decision of the trial High Court.
In the enrolled order of the judgment of the trial High Court, no disqualification order was mode against the applicant’s candidate (Lyon David Pereworimin), whether consequentially or otherwise.
“After reinstating the judgment of the trial court in the judgment of this honourable court of this 13th February, 2020, in SC.1/2020 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) & 2 Ors. v. Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo & 3 ors., this honourable court proceeded to disqualify the governorship candidate of the applicant (Lyon David Pereworimin) despite the fact that the trial High Court refused to grant the reliefs for his disqualification and there was no appeal against same.
“In this honourable court’s judgment of 13th February, 2020, the court erroneously and inadvertently stated that the trial High Court consequentially disqualified the applicant‘s governorship candidate even though the trial court mode no such order and when the trial court indeed refused to grant the express orders sought by the plaintiffs therein for his disqualification.
“This honourable court acted without jurisdiction by holding as in (xiii) and (xiv). supra (as contained in the two paragraphs above) and also breached applicant’s right to fair hearing.
“With respect, the portions of the judgment of this honourable court highlighted in the body of this application constitute a nullity.
“With respect, the decision of this honourable court of 13th February, 2020, in SC.1/ 2020 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) & 2 ors. v. Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo & 3 ors., was premised on and vitiated by a fundamental error.
“With respect the decision of this honourable court of this 13th February, 2020, in SC. 1/ 2020 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) & 2 ors. v. Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo & 3 ors., is contrary to public policy.
“By a press statement made on 14th February, 2020, the Chairman of the 4th (INEC) respondent purported to interpret the judgment of this Honourable Court of 13th February, 2020 in SC.1/2020 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) & 2 ors. v. Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo 8. 3 ors.
“In the said press statement, the 4th respondent reviewed the judgment of this honourable court, gave it a different interpretation and come to a wrong conclusion. thus declaring the 2nd and 3rd respondents as the Governor and Deputy Governor elect of Bayelsa State, respectively. “

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