29 Mar

Daily Watch – Saraki calls for review of tax laws, 2017 budget runs till May

  • Data from the NBS shows that revenue from FAAC forms more than 50 percent of the total income realised by states in 2017. The only exceptions were Lagos and Ogun where the allocations represented 21 percent and 25 percent respectively. States typically generate revenue from taxes and levies paid by residents and companies domiciled in the state. Revenue can also be generated from payments made for services provided by state ministries, departments and agencies. This means that majority of the states relied on federal allocations to pay workers.
  • The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has told the FG to let the implementation of the 2017 budget run till the end of May 2018. Saraki’s comment, which was directed at the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, followed a point of order raised by Atai Aidoko (PDP, Kogi East). Aidoko brought the attention of the senate to a circular issued to Ministries, Departments and Agencies, which said that 2017 budget funds will be “mopped up” by March 31. Claiming that the letter contravened the provisions of section 3(1) of the Constitution, Aidoko added that the section mandates that the budget runs for 12 months after the presidential assent. President Buhari assented to the 2017 budget in May 2017. Reacting to the point of order, Mr Saraki asked the Ministry of Finance to rescind the circular, adding that it does not have the powers to do so.
  • Equity transactions on the floor of the NSE continued on a downward trend yesterday, as investors have now lost ₦235 billion in three trading days. At the close of transactions yesterday, market capitalisation dropped by ₦235 billion or 1.6 per cent from ₦14.975 trillion recorded on Monday to ₦14.740 trillion posted on Wednesday while the All-share index dropped by 652.22 points from 41,454.30 to 40,802.08. In Wednesday’s trading, WAPCO topped the losers’ chart, losing ₦2.30 to close at ₦46.40 per share while Dangote Cement followed losing ₦2.00 to close at ₦253.00 per share.
  • The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has said that Nigeria’s tax laws must be reviewed to allow ease of doing business. Speaking at the inauguration of a committee on reforming Nigeria’s tax system at the national assembly, Saraki said the FG’s target should not only be increased revenue but also how to encourage ease of doing business. He pointed out existing duplication in the current tax regime and asked the committee to harmonise the various tax instruments in the country. He also called for the expansion of the committee to include major players in the private sector. Members of the committee include representatives of FIRS, MAN and the National Institute of Legislative Studies. Others are the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mines and Agriculture and state commissioners of finance.