Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, has described the digital space as the new gold in revenue generation country.
Fowler said on Thursday in his opening remarks at the third Annual Nigeria Tax Research Network Conference holding at the FIRS Training School in Durumi, Abuja. The conference is themed: Revenue Challenges Online and Offline: Bridging the Digital divide in an Analogue Economy.
According to the FIRS boss, it is important that the service improves its capacity in the taxation of economic activities within the digital space.
Towards this, Fowler said the FIRS has deployed electronic tax services (e-services) to ensure the automation of tax processes for the purpose of improving transparency as well as easing speed of tax administration for both taxpayers and administrators.
“The volume of economic activities associated with businesses like Uber, Amazon and our own Jumia and Interswitch is further confirmation of the aptness of the theme.
“To put it in clear terms, the digital space is new ‘gold’ in terms of revenue generation and tax administration must be alive to this fact.
“It is with this in mind that FIRS has designed and deployed electronic tax services (e-services) to ensure the automation of tax processes for the purpose of the improvement of transparency, ease and speed of tax administration for both taxpayers and tax administrators.
“These e-services have in no small way contributed to the successes recorded in the last two years amidst an economy characterised by the effect and aftermath of recession,” Fowler said.
The e-services, he said are e-Registration for registration of new taxpayers; e-Stamp duty for payment of stamp duties on qualifying documents; e-TaxPayment for payment of all taxes of the Federal Government using Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Remita or Interswitch; e-Receipt for receiving and verifying e-receipts generated for taxes paid through the new e-TaxPayment.
Others are e-Filing, which enables taxpayers file their tax returns through Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS); and e-TCC platform, which enables taxpayers apply for, receive and verify authenticity of their electronic tax clearance certificates (e-TCC).
Fowler stated that the conference is an opportunity for tax administrators to brainstorm on new ideas to broaden the tax net as well as strategise on optimal service delivery.
The conference, according to him, is also for the discussion of current ideas, new trends and future prospects of revenue collection.
“This conference, like others before it, presents us with an opportunity to brainstorm and articulate initiatives for the broadening of the tax net and strategies geared towards ensuring optimised service delivery.
“Furthermore, it presents a forum for the discussion of current ideas, new trends and future prospects of revenue collection,” he said.
He reiterated FIRS’ commitment to supporting research to further stimulate economic development, effective tax administration as well as discharge of its statutory functions under the FIRS Establishment Act.
He urged participants at the conference to employ their different expertise in helping the FIRS and other tax administration authorities in their efforts at effective taxation, especially of the digital space.
A popular African saying states that the reward of teachers is in heaven. Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, has however chosen to reward teachers for their role in imparting knowledge on children. The staff of the Transactional Products & Services unit of the bank donated a year’s teachers’ salary to the management of Comenius Nursery and Primary School, a tuition-free elementary school for poor children. The school is an initiative of Street2School, an NGO that sponsors and supports the education programmes of poor and marginalized children.
Mr. Inwang Akpan, Head, Transactional Products and Services and Mrs. Ojinika Shote, Head, Cash Management, Transactional Products and Services; both of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, made the presentation of the cheque to Mrs. Oluwatosin Taiwo, the Proprietress of Comenius Nursery and Primary School.
Mr Akpan stated that the donation was made to the teachers in appreciation of their dedication to providing quality education to the less privileged children.
Mr. Akpan said: “They say that the reward for teachers is in heaven, but pending when you receive that reward in heaven, there is a lot that needs to be done here to support you while we are still on earth. That is the major reason why we decided to support your efforts.”
Speaking in the same vein, Mrs. Shote added that the essence of the donation was to appreciate the teachers for their tireless efforts in providing quality education to their pupils of Comenius Nursery and Primary School.
She stated: “Without teachers, there will be no school. We decided to work with a well renowned NGO, Street2School, that we know is doing great work and to support them in their quest to run a free school. That’s why we decided to support the teachers under the aegis of the Street2School initiative with one year’s salary’s worth.”
While expressing her gratitude to the management of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, Mrs. Taiwo noted that paying the teachers’ salary had been a burden since the inception of the free-school program. According to her, the move by the company was a push towards ensuring that every child has access to quality education and learning. The payment of the teachers’ salaries kicks off from November 2019 to October 2020.
The employees of the Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) unit of Stanbic IBTC had earlier embarked on similar CSR initiatives at Girls Senior Academy and the Special Correctional Centre for Boys, both located in Lagos.
The employees of the CIB unit planted the seeds of financial literacy in the minds and hearts of the Girls Senior Academy students. The students were tutored on career development, acquisition of life skills and the cultivation of financial planning for their future.
Mr. Funso Akere, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Capital, encouraged the students imbibe the habit of hard work, adding that they can succeed if they are determined and focused in pursuing their dreams.
The Compliance team of Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Ltd provided groceries, school items, food items and other important supplies to the Special Correctional Centre for Boys.
Edidiong Akan, Head, Compliance, Stanbic IBTC Pensions, explained that the unit decided to make the donations because of the importance the financial institution attaches to supporting children’s education and enhancing learning experiences.
Education is one of the CSR pillars of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC; with health and economic empowerment being the other areas of focus.
Mr Bigg’s, the Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) being run by UACN Restaurants Limited has won the “Restaurant of the Year” award in Kaduna, Kaduna State.
The award given by Change Nigeria News (CNN-Nigeria) was based on what the panel of judges noted as Mr Bigg’s top notch service consistency. “Mr Bigg’s is one of the first fast food restaurants of the famous UACN, which has remained a favourite spot for years and curiously so even with the current economic downturn, it still maintains it attractiveness both in terms of product range, quality and customer service,” the panel maintained.
According to the panel of judges, “in an era where customer service has witnessed a new low by the blocking off of charging points for customers, Mr Bigg’s stands out by leaving open it’s charging points. This alone signals a welcome gesture that keeps endearing it to its many settlers in Kaduna.
The parking space is always clean and ever free from encumbrances such that it always have enough parking space for customers.
The convenience is one special spot that attracts attention. After over a decade, it retains the excellent neatness the convenience was known for.”
Recently, Mr Bigg’s launched its model restaurant at Northwest Filing Station at VGC, Lagos and some other parts of the country. The new restaurants, according to Mrs. Ethel Mba, Marketing Manager, UAC Restaurants, depicts excellence, offering a wide variety of meals ranging from local to continental dishes, which according to her, is the heritage of Mr Bigg’s.
Many customers who have visited the new restaurants are impressed and excited with the excellent service experience which they say largely addresses their eating needs.
Mr Bigg’s, with over 75 restaurants in Nigeria, is response to consumers’ need for quick, fresh and tasty meals as they become increasingly busy and has less time for cooking.
Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has appointed Alhaji Ahmed Murtala, an indigene of Kano State, as his Special Assistant on Community Relations I.
He also appointed Mr Femi Josiah as Special Assistant on Community Relations II.
Makinde further approved the appointment of Dr Olufunmilayo Salami as Special Adviser on Health while Chief Jacob Adetoro was named as Chairman of Federal Constituencies Liaison Officers.
A Government House statement said the governor named 14 Constituency Liaison Officers, representing each of the state’s 14 federal constituencies.
According to the statement, Murtala hails from Nasarawa Local Government of Kano State and had his primary and secondary school education at St. Brigid Boys School, Mokola, Ibadan and Community Grammar School, Mokola, Ibadan, respectively.
The statement also said “He (Murtala) will serve as the bridge between the Oyo State Government and the Hausa/Fulani community as well as other northern groups scattered across the state.
“Dr Salami, until her appointment as Special Adviser on Health, was a health consultant to the state government.
” She was a United States of America-based Paediatrics Emergency Medicine Physician.
” Gov. Makinde charged the new appointees, whose appointments took effect from Nov. 27 , to see their appointments as a call to service and urged them to discharge their duties with absolute loyalty, dedication and diligence.”
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office, on Wednesday raided a Lagos hotel believed to be a hideout for internet fraudsters and arrested suspected internet fraud kingpin and 26 others.
The target was one Rasaq Balogun, a suspected internet fraud kingpin, whose illicit activities dominated intelligence gathered from the recently arrested ‘police spies’ during a raid on their Abeokuta base.
According to findings, Balogun harbours an army of young men recruited to carry out financial frauds through the use of the internet.
Other suspected fraudsters were equally arrested at his Beckley Estate residence, also in Lagos State.
The raid on his hotel, Modzak Hotel located at Abule-Egba, Lagos State, sufficiently gave credence to the suspicion as a retinue of young men were caught haboured in his hotel with no specific mission.
The suspected kingpin and 26 other young men ranging between the ages of 18 and 35 years arrested were brought to the Commission’s Ibadan zonal office for further interrogation.
Officer of the anti-graft agency also recovered three vehicles, fetish item, laptops, mobile phones and documents suspected to contain fraudulent data from the suspect.
Those indicted, the EFCC, said, would be charged to court as soon as investigations were concluded.