10 Dec

Daily Watch – Fowler confirmed as Nigeria’s tax man, Subsidy claims paid

  • The Senate has confirmed Babatunde Fowler as chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service. Fowler was appointed acting chairman of the agency by President Muhammadu Buhari on August 20 to replace Samuel Odugbesan, a former coordinating director at the agency, who was appointed to the position by President Goodluck Jonathan in March. Fowler was the Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue from 2005 to 2014, and is widely credited with improving the state’s tax collection base.
  • Finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, has confirmed the payment of N407.07 billion for subsidy claims to oil marketers to end the lingering petrol shortages in the country. The payments were made immediately in order to bring to a quick end to the crisis. The payments include arrears from the 2014 financial year as well as payments for the current year. SBM Intelligence released a research report yesterday, on the true cost of petrol in Nigeria.
  • The House of Representatives has passed a motion urging the executive to stop the operations of all refineries in Nigeria due to the huge debts being incurred despite the fact that they are barely functioning. It pointed out that the inability of the refineries to serve local consumption is responsible for the country’s dependence on imported refined products and resultant fuel scarcity across the country. The House has also called for the issue of privatization of the refineries to be revisited and urgently considered.
  • The International Finance Corporation has signed a joint development agreement with a Nigerian solar power project company, Alten’s Middle Band Solar One Limited, to develop a 120-megawatt peak photovoltaic solar power project along with a consortium of developers. The project, which is based in Lokoja, Kogi State, is expected to reach financial close by the fourth quarter of 2016. It is expected to provide renewable energy supply to about 175,000 people and nearby industrial clusters, support job creation, and boost economic growth.
  • The Minister of Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi, has said the ministry will release a roadmap that would guide local and foreign investors in the mining sector next week. Aside from detailing the quantity and quality of mineral deposits in the country, the document, when released, would also state the categories of mining licences as well as ensure strict adherence to the conditions attached to them.