Edo Partners CITN to Widen Tax Net

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Godwin Obaseki

Ugo Aliogo

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that the state will partner the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) to drive advocacy campaigns in order to widen the tax net in the state.

Obaseki, was quoted in a statement, to have said this during a courtesy call by members of the Benin District Society of the CITN, in Benin City.

He explained that the collaboration would help the state government deepen advocacy programmes to sensitise members of the public on their civic responsibility as regards taxation.

 The governor noted that the state government needs to expand its tax net so it could sustain its developmental strides, adding that the focus in the past was corporate organisations while neglecting about 70 per cent of the employed labour force and those who operate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the state. 

“Government relies on the economic activities of its citizens for sustenance. This is done through taxation. We need to emphasise the need for citizens to develop a habit of paying tax. 

“We also need to tweak the system so that owners of SMEs will be conscious of the fact that they need to pay taxes,” he added.

 Obaseki, also noted that people who earn more in the society should pay more taxes while urging political leaders to pay stipulated taxes based on their income.

He assured members of the institute of government’s support and promised that the state would allocate a parcel of land for the institute to build its Benin Secretariat.

 Earlier, the President of the institute, Gladys Olajumoke Simplice, commended the performance of the Obaseki-led administration in setting-up industrial clusters in the state to encourage production.

 

She noted that the institute was ready to partner with the Edo State Government in its initiative to improve revenue collection, urging the state to support some of its programmes, which includes exchange programmes and study tours.

 

FCMB Introduces Facility to Boost Agriculture

First City Monument Bank (FCMB), has introduced an enhanced agro-commodity trade finance facility for agribusiness operators. The development marked another bold step by the bank to expand and deepen its support to the agricultural sector, its value-chain and the overall growth of the Nigerian economy.

A statement from the bank explained that the revamped facility was designed for agro-commodity merchants with supply contracts to multinationals, large corporates and processors of agro-commodities. 

Targeted commodities are cocoa, cashew nut, sesame, ginger, palm Oil, grains (maize, sorghum, soya beans, paddy rice). 

According to the statement, under the new FCMB trade finance facility which was structured in the form of a working capital, the minimum amount that to be accessed by a qualified customer is N100 million, while the maximum is N2 billion.

Explaining the rationale behind the introduction of the facility in an enhanced form, the Divisional Head, Agribusiness of FCMB, Mr. Kudzai Gumunyu, said the bank recognises the gap that exists in agribusiness financing as well as other challenges faced by operators, including farmers, in the sector. 

According to him, ‘’we realise there are millions of agro-traders and processors across the country that need credit at convenient and affordable rates, considering the level of attraction the agric sector has garnered. 

“Our decision to introduce a revamped agro-commodity trade finance facility is part of our intervention in the agribusiness space to ensure agribusinesses and other stakeholders are empowered with the requisite funds and enablers to boost production and marketing of agricultural commodities. 

“Commodity producers and traders stand to immensely benefit from this facility, because it is a veritable and convenient opportunity to access funds that ensure cash flow is available for maximum output. We urge all to take advantage of this offering,” he added.

He assured that FCMB was focused on being a strategic partner in the agric sector to drive the diversification of the Nigerian economy, food self-sufficiency, employment and export earnings. 

Highlighting FCMB’s contributions to agribusiness, Gumunyu said the bank had sustained the tempo of support through numerous cutting-edge initiatives through innovative products. 

He said FCMB in 2018, provided lines of credit up to eight per cent of the bank’s total loan book to the agric sector with the intention to improve on this this milestone.

“FCMB has consistently proved its mettle as an inclusive and impact investment lender and as an institution that accords agribusiness top priority. 

“For instance, the bank facilitated and guaranteed the procurement of fifty (50) tractors by the Tractor Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria (TOOAN) Ventures from the Bank of Industry. 

“The tractors were handed over to the Association recently at Ilero town, Oyo State. In addition, FCMB is in partnership with several local and international institutions, such as CBN, BOI, DBN, FMO, International Finance Corporation, USAID, AFD and AGF to provide funding and other classes of support to the agric sector,” he added.