NLC Demands Review of Tax Policies

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Solomon Elusoji
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has asked the federal government to review its tax policies, noting that it currently favours wealthy Nigerians and corporate organisation over workers.

Speaking in Abuja at a gathering of labour union leaders over the weekend, the NLC president, Mr. Ayuba Wabba said that the government never fails to tax public and civil servants, whereas it overlooks high net-worth individuals and corporate organisations, who engage in illicit financial transactions to escape paying correct taxes.

“You will remember that last year, we led a campaign to the Ministry of Finance to advocate for tax justice and to stop illicit financial flows from Africa; because in the context of taxation in Nigeria, it is only workers that pay the correct tax, through Pay As You Earn (PAYE),” Wabba said.

He added: “In other climes, it is the high and the mighty that are supposed to pay tax to subsidise for the poor. But in Nigeria, it is the poor that is subsidising the rich. This is why we are demanding for tax justice. Resources can only be made available if people are able to pay their correct taxes.”

Wabba also noted that the Panama Papers leak has exposed the manner in which tax resources are being diverted away from the Nigerian state towards tax havens and urged the government to do something about it. “Part of our campaign this year is to halt illicit financial flows and also to demand for tax justice, where workers and citizens, especially the high and mighty, should pay the correct tax”, he said.

He added: “As an outcome of the NLC’s visit to the Ministry of Finance, some progress has been made; the federal government has set up a presidential committee to address illicit financial flows and also to ensure that issues of tax are appropriately addressed.”

South African Bankers Excited With LBS Training

South African Investment Bankers have lauded the Lagos Business School for hosting the International Executive Development Programme (IEDP) for the Banking Sector and Training Authority (BANKSETA), held in Lagos Nigeria.
The five-day programme which started on June 19, 2017, brought together high potential leaders from the investment banking sector in South Africa and immersed them into the best praticea of the Nigerian economy, culture and environment.

Thebe Mabiletsa, of Absa Capital, South Africa, commended the Lagos Business School for hosting them in Nigeria, an experience he said had broadened the delegation’s horizon on the uniqueness of the Nigerian economy and market.
He revealed that Nigerian businesses “have created a niche space in terms of their innovation and expertise which can make them partner favourably with South African banks as well as other banks on the continent.”

Lead Professor/Orchestrator, Duke University, Jared Bleak said that the key learning from the week-long programme was evident in the prospects for Nigerian banks becoming more international and how they could collaborate with other markets on the continent and even the rest of the world. “The internationalisation of Nigerian banks is happening, and even the South African groups here have learned from the economy and possibly thinking about partnerships,” he stated.
He commended the Lagos Business School for exposing the team to a fast emerging market on the African continent, as well as the warm reception.

A Senior Lecturer, Strategy, Finance and Risk Management, Lagos Business School, Dr. Franklin Ngwu remarked that it was a great feat helping the South African Investment bankers to understudy the Nigerian financial sector to see areas of opportunity, investment and collaboration with the two countries. “We have exposed them to both the formal and informal aspects of the economy and we envisage a possible cooperation and investment between the two economies,” he said.

CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Mr. Oscar Onyeama commended the Lagos Business School for the IEDP initiative, he stated that opportunities such as this affords the stock exchange an avenue to share relevant information which boosts confidence in the Nigerian capital markets and in turn the Nigerian economy.
Dean, Lagos Business School, Dr. Enase Okonedo expressed appreciation to all organisations that welcomed the LBS/IEDP-BANKSETA participants during their tour for showing support during the programme and wished the South African bankers a safe trip back home.

Some of the activities included visits to the International Centre for Commerce (ICC) Balogun Market, Lagos; NIKE Art Gallery; SLOT Systems Limited; Computer Village, and interactive sessions with Afri Invest, Ecobank and Fintech CEOs (Konga, Venture Garden, Interswitch etc.) Also included in the activities was a visit to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), where they got an expose into the Nigerian economy, the capital markets and participated in the activities of ringing the closing bell on the NSE trading floor. The participants were given adequate exposure to the Nigerian economy, culture and environment.
Banking Sector Education and Training Authority (BANKSETA) is a South African statutory body interested in promoting knowledge and skill acquisition in the financial sector.

Osun Cocoa Industry Now Processes 20,000 Tonnes Daily

The newly resuscitated Osun State Cocoa Processing Industry in Ede has started processing cocoa in line with the industrialisation plan of the current administration in the state.
The company, which was inaugurated on October 17 , 1982 , had stopped production in 2001 due to obsolete equipment and management issues .
The Commissioner for Industries, Commerce , Cooperatives and Empowerment in the state, Mr. Ismail Alagbada , however , said the company was now processing 20 ,000 tonnes of cocoa on a daily basis .

He stated that the Aregbesola administration in partnership with Golden Monkey of China revived the company and brought it back to start production .
This, he said , was meant to ensure that it started adding value to cocoa instead of exporting it overseas in its raw form .
The Commissioner said: “At present , the company is processing 20 ,000 tonnes of cocoa into cocoa liquor for both local and international consumption , thus increasing the production capacity of the company by 400 per cent from 2001 period .

“The revival of the CPI is part of the realisation of the industrialisation plan of the current administration, to put the company into effective use for optimum performance.”
Alagbada explained that more workers will still be recruited as expansion of the company was being carried out.

He disclosed further that going by the new arrangement, the state government owned 30 per cent equity, which gives it 30 per cent revenue derivable from all resources and funds generated in the plant.

“Through this partnership, many people in Osun will learn the trade of cocoa processing. The possibilities are just endless. At least, now, our people know that more value accrues to them if they process cocoa rather than exporting in its raw form,” he added

Sokoto Establishes Agency for Poultry Devt

Sokoto State Government has established an agency for poultry development to enable citizens of the state tap from the potential available in the sector.
This was contained in a statement issued in Sokoto by Malam Imam Imam, the media aide to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.

“The new agency will work closely with all stakeholders, notably the Department of Livestock Development of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, to introduce policy guidelines that will lead to the development of the sector for the benefit of the citizens.

“It will also equip citizens with needed technical expertise that will assist them in efforts to maximally benefit from the sector.

“Our target is to be the leading state in poultry production in the country, and to serve neighboring countries in the near future,” the statement added.

While expressing the hope that about two million people will be engaged in the sector in the next few years, the government said it hopes to increase production of poultry meat and eggs, and to provide employment opportunities to citizens through the intervention.

“It is also a practical means of tackling poverty especially among rural dwellers,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, the government has announced the appointment of Alhaji Balarabe Ladan as the Director-General of the newly established Poultry Development Agency.