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Network restates committment to support Kaduna IRS on progressive tax regime

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Network restates committment to support Kaduna IRS on progressive tax regime

(Photo: 7th from L-R: Acting Executive Chairman of KADIRS, Mr Jerry Adams and the Coordinator of TJN Mr Simeon Olatunde in a group photograph with members of staff of KADIRS and TJN entourage on Thursday in Kaduna)

The Tax Justice Network (TJN) has restated its commitment to support the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS) for fair, just, equitable and progressive tax regime in the state.

The TJN is an association of individuals and groups interested in engaging issues related to tax justice and promoting a fair, just, equitable and progressive tax regime in Nigeria.

It has a spread across the sub-national level.

Coordinator of the network in Kaduna, Mr Simeon Olatunde, made the committment at a familiarisation visit to the Acting Executive Chairman of KADIRS in Kaduna.

Olatunde noted that the association had, in the previous administrations, helped the KADIRS in publishing and distributing Hausa tax handbooks and rebuilt Lere grain market.

He added that the network also organised media engagements, trained the KADIRS staff on redress mechanisms among other engagements aimed at ensuring progressive tax regime.

He said that with support from Christian Aid, Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn, (PERL), Actionaid and OXFAM, among other funders, partners and supporters, they were able to carry out activities in line with the TJN objectives.

Olatunde therefore said the network was poised to increase domestic resource mobilisation to sustainably finance development.

He also said they were poised in campaigning for more fair and progressive tax policies in Kaduna to reduce multiple taxation, corporate tax dodging and other harmful tax practices in the state.

Olatunde, however, lamented that there wa huge capacity gap between the tax administrators at the local and state level and continued apathy of citizens on governance and taxes.

He also lamented that only few organisations were interested in tax justice, due to poor tax knowledge and weak synergy between TJN and KADIRS as well as other revenue generation agencies.

The coordinator called on the government to invest more in technology in a way that appealed to the
informal sector that would help capture it into the tax net.

He also urged the government to develop Kaduna tax policy/ implermentation framework to strengthen transparent and accountable service delivery.

It should also strengthen a feedback mechanism where taxpayers can track the update of some of the concerns raised through any of the communication paths.

“Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service should provide toll-free lines to ease the
cost of tax payments on taxpayers and
revive the Ease of Doing Business Committee in the state,” he said.

He commended the KADIRS for its recent arrest of six gang members of illegal tax collectors in the state.

Earlier, the Acting Executive Chairman of the KADIRS, Mr Jerry Adams, said they had done a lot in ensuring seamless tax administration in the state.

Regarding awareness creation and monitoring, he said they could not do it alone unless with the help of CSOs like the TJN and many others.

Adams noted that ordinarily, people did not like paying tax, adding that the attitude was not peculiar to Kaduna but the entire nation and developing countries in general.

He, therefore, said that for people to pay tax, they needed to know why they were paying it.

“When the people pay tax, they become stakeholders and ask questions on what the money is used for,” he said.

The acting executive chairman described the governor of the state, Sen. Uba Sani, as a wellfarist, stressing that his policies came with human face.

On that premise, he said they were trying on making the tax regime flexible to ensure that people complied voluntarily.

“In doing that, we need to create awareness as the people will know that there is a symbiotic relationship between them and the Government.

“When citizens pay tax, we give the government for them to use in development of the state.

“Paying tax by the people also attracts investment which will give birth to employment. The number of graduates our institutions are churning out is very high and government does not have the capacity to absorb them all.

“We want more private sector’s investment in the state, the government will not be able to meet up with its promises if people don’t pay tax,” Adams said.

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Hardship: Protesters Defy Police Warning, Hit Lagos Streets

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Residents have hit the streets of Lagos State to protest against the increasing spike in the price of food and the high cost of living in the country.

The protest was facilitated by a human rights group identified as the “Take It Back Movement.”

This comes against the warning issued by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Adegoke Fayoade, on Sunday.

The protesters were seen carrying placards of various inscriptions at Ojuelegba Under Bridge area of the state to express their grievances.

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CBN Lifts Ban On BDCs, Introduces New Operational Mechanism

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In a major development aimed at financial stability and strengthening the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to resume its weekly intervention in the country’s foreign exchange (FX) market through the Bureau de Change (BDC) operators.

In 2021, the central bank, in a bid to achieve its mandate of safeguarding the value of the local currency, ensuring financial system stability, and shoring up external reserves, announced the immediate discontinuance of foreign currency sales to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in the country.

However, the resumed intervention, which would reportedly commence today for funding as well as Tuesday for collection, will see the apex bank inject FX into the subsector in a bid to rescue the naira from further depreciation against major currencies, particularly the US Dollar. The collection will be at designated CBN branches in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Awka, while details of the naira accounts to be credited for funding bidding will also be made available today.

CBN is also expected to publish the list of eligible BDCs to benefit from its funding using certain compliance criteria.National Executive Council of Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) hinted on the latest developments through a memo to its members over the weekend.

The association also warned members that it will no longer be business as usual under the new supervisory regime of the central bank, as any infringement or infraction would result in outright revocation of license and prosecution.

ABCON said through the association’s various engagements with the central bank, in conjunction with ABCON’s strategic partners, CBN had agreed to its request, under the bank’s supervision, to inject liquidity into the market through a weekly intervention beginning today.

CBN assured ABCON that the new circular on the Revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines to BDCs, which was introduced over the weekend, was only a draft exposure that required the association’s inputs before the release of the final guidelines by the apex bank.

To that effect, the letters of the guidelines were not cast in stone, the association’s leadership told its members, who had been worried over the sweeping reforms in the document, which, among other things, prescribed N2 billion and N500 million minimum capital for national and state BDCs, respectively.

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