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PHOTOS: Again, Dangote Trucks Impounded For Smuggling In Ogun



Two Dangote trucks and 23 trailers have been impounded by the Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun 1 Area Command for allegedly smuggling in foreign rice hidden in bags of cement.
The Area Controller, Bamidele Makinde, revealed that the seized Dangote vehicles were not owned by the company but were operated by individuals who transport cement on franchise agreement with the company.
Credit: Daud Olatunji
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Why I pay taxes”




“As a villager, I loathed paying taxes, or what they called revenue, in our weekly open air market,” said Maitabo, the livestock trader who is now an industrialist in the big city where he established factories that turned out a basket of consumer goods, including polished rice.

He said he spent the first 40 years of his life in his native village without electricity. There was no smooth, all-season motorable road to his village either. The only school in the district was in Alkarya, the district headquarters of his Karkara collection of hamlets, tiny villages, and homesteads.

Maitabo said he previously viewed paying the community tax and cattle tax to the local leaders as an unnecessary dishing money out to big men who dress nicely, ride bicycles, even motor cycles and build cemented houses with roofs made of shiny corrugated iron sheets.

However, as his livestock trade expanded and the necessity for Maitabo to hire articulated trailers to convey his wares from the big livestock markets where he buys them in hundreds to far-flung consumption centres of Kano, Ibadan, Warri, Abuja, Benin, Uyo, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt and Okigwe near Umuahia, he appreciated that the wide, smooth and tarred highways plied by the trailers were important facilitators for his flourishing lucrative trade.

He also realised that the trailers conveying his livestock travel through thick forests where security personnel were stationed to protect travellers from marauders. The trailers were driven on bridges built by the government to cross both big rivers and streams: the days of using risky ferries to cross the rivers were over.

As an industrialist who graduated from livestock trade and living in a rural Nigeria 50 years ago, he is now face to face with the importance and benefits of paying taxes. And he no longer loathes paying taxes as he did previously. He nowadays encourages other business owners and everyone who will listen to him to pay taxes as and when due.

His favourite justification for his willingness to pay taxes was the improvement he noticed to the wellbeing of people in his village during a visit. The authorities have provided a laterite road linking his village to other towns; a windmill that draws potable water from a deep well for his community; a dispensary that meets the health care needs of a cluster of villages including his home village, and the most wonderful of all, the electricity that was wired to the village by the Rural Electrification Authority.

Maitabo will tell his listeners that it was long after he enjoyed various government services that it dawned on him that the livestock tax he paid and the flat tax paid by all male adults in his village, contributed to the pool of money spent in providing those services in his and other neighbouring villages.

Now as a dweller in a city, the owner of manufacturing plants and a fleet of trailers that bring raw materials to his factories and evacuate manufactured goods from there, he realises that the constant electricity supplied to his factories and the smooth roads used by his articulated trucks were emplaced by government using the very taxes he previously loathed to pay.

He now discourages tax evasion; shun false tax entries and avoids quarrels with tax officials. Maitabo believes as the World Bank does in a Subnational Studies on ease of doing business that, taxpayers and businesses are interested in what they get for their taxes: quality infrastructure including good roads, reliable railway network, functional aviation facilities, efficient sea ports, continuous supply of electricity and telecommunication connectivity, which are all vital for the sound functioning of an economy.

A healthy workforce enhances economic competitiveness and productivity. This makes governments invests in the provision of health services. Government also spends on imparting relevant skills to improve the efficiency of workers. It provides tertiary education facilities such as the 37 Federal Polytechnics, 43 Federal Universities and 27 Federal Colleges of Education where top-level human capital is nurtured to support the economy through technical innovations.

Maitabo often explains to his listeners that although the government in Nigeria charges excise, import and export duties and collects petroleum profit tax to raise revenue to finance the operations of the security forces namely the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Services, the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Civil Defense, he noted that the bread and tea millions of Nigerians buy daily, complete with fried eggs and the meals they enjoy in countless eateries and open air restaurants, including the peppersoup, are not taxed by the government.

Maitabo is always at his best telling people who listen to him why he pays taxes. He points out that revenues from taxes are used to compensate public servants who provide essential services as ambulance drivers, fire fighters, nurses in healthcare centres and air traffic controllers who contribute to safe aviation in the country.

He narrates correctly that Nigerians who travel anywhere by road, sea and air, inevitably drive on government-provided roads, use safe sea lanes cleared by the country’s maritime authority and fly out or land at beautiful airports built by government–using money from taxes.

Maitabo admits that he benefits immensely from the services provided by the government which it pays for with money generated through taxation, and wished that those services continue to improve sustainably, often saying, “That is why I pay taxes.”




By Salisu Na’inna Dambatta

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TAXATION: Our Quota To Nation Building



Tax is a compulsory contribution to state revenue levied by the government on workers’ income and business profits, or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions. But for the sake of clarity, this piece will be focusing on tax as citizen’s obligation or contribution towards national development.

Nigeria like every other nation around the world needs revenue for the smooth running of governance and also to perform other civic operations. Although revenue can be gotten from various sources, one source that stands out the most in our contemporary time is revenue generated through taxation.

Every country has a particular agency or establishment saddled with the responsibility of tax administration aimed at delivering quality service to taxpayers in partnership with other stakeholders making taxation the pivot of national development. In Nigeria, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is the agency that oversees the timely collection of the various types of taxes which includes: the Company’s Income tax, Tertiary Education tax, Value Added tax, etc.

The FIRS after it’s rebirth in 2019 under the experienced leadership of its Executive Chairman, Muhammad Mamman Nami has become one agency of government working hard to fulfil it’s mandate and a major contributor to government coffers with its latest revenue generation of N10.1 trillion in the year 2022. The highest revenue ever collected in Nigeria’s history by a single agency of government, and of course the highest the Service has ever collected.

While the Federal Government of Nigeria is tagged with the responsibilities of providing security, welfare of citizens, promotion of political activities, provision and promotion of economic activities, provision of social amenities etc, citizens too have an obligation to fund these services through the payment of tax.Taxes paid by citizens is their obligation under the social contract where they contribute to the government to provide them with various services needed to better their lives.

Unfortunately some people do not see the need to pay taxes yet they want government to miraculously meet their needs by fulfilling its responsibilities. How can that be, where will the funds come from?

A nation with more tax payers who pay their tax as and at when due will naturally be ahead and more developed than those with less tax payers because it is through these taxes that government is able to undertake meaningful developmental projects such as constructions of roads and bridges, provision of medical facilities, building of schools and adequately equipping them; taxes are also used to fund many types of government programs that help the poor and less privileged in the society.

In Nigeria for example, the government at the center has embarked on series of milestone projects aided by revenue generated from taxes. Notable amongst these are the constructions of Loko – Oweto Bridge, Second Niger Bridge, Gombe-Kaltungo road, Abuja-Lokoja express way, Lagos-Ibadan dual carriage, Bonny-Bodo road and bridges, Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Kontagora road, amongst others. It has also provided affordable medical care and cheap medical training for our doctors; built several Primary Health Care Centres across the country, built thousands of lecture halls, theatres and hostels in our tertiary education institutions and equipped them with the necessary infrastructure needed for effective learning.

Our tertiary institutions of learning is a major benefactor of tax collected through education tax. The Tertiary Education tax is 2.5% of the assessable profit of companies operating in Nigeria.

The education tax is a tax contribution made from profits of companies in Nigeria collected by the FIRS on behalf of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TEFUND) which in turn disburses it to the relevant public tertiary institution. Over the years, this has translated to the building and equipping of physical infrastructure, staff development and aided research. In light of this, TETFUND has disbursed over 2 trillion Naira to several tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

However, for more people to be encouraged in payment of taxes, government at all levels needs to be seen judiciously using the funds at its disposal to bring about development in any and all forms, thereby providing value for tax monies collected. It is one thing to pay taxes and it is another thing for the taxes to be used for the purpose for which it was collected.

This cannot be better said than in the manner Muhammad Nami puts it. While appealing to the three tiers of government, he advises them to continue to use the funds generated by the FIRS in critical sector of the economy so that they are able to give back value to tax payers as far as their money is concerned. He adds that global civilization is as a result of judicious use of taxes by government officials across the world.

Every one desires a good life, we crave for a better Nigeria where everything works. In truth, every citizen deserves it but without funds, the government no matter how willing it may be will be handicapped in living up to its responsibilities and making a significant change in the system.

Therefore, citizens must recognise that they are responsible for the building of their country’s civilisation through the taxes they pay.

Whether as a public office holder, a business owner or a simple patriotic citizen of Nigeria, we owe it as a duty to pay our taxes. Together we can build our nation and take it to greater heights through this little quota called tax.


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Confusion As CBN Says We Didn’t Direct Banks To Disburse Old Notes



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday said it has not issued a fresh directive to commercial banks on last Friday’s judgement of the Supreme Court ordering the circulation of the old naira notes alongside the new ones until December 31.


A seven-member panel of justices presided over by Justice Inyang Okoro had described as unconstitutional, President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the CBN for the redesigning and withdrawal of old notes of N200, N500 and N1,000, without consultation with the states, Federal Executive Council, the National Council of States, and other stakeholders.

Crednews Nigeria reports that there was confusion among commercial banks and business operators following the non-issuance of a directive by the CBN on receiving the old N500 and N1000 notes. The CBN spokesman, Isa Abdulmumin, who spoke to our reporter, said the CBN has not issued an official statement.

However, a senior management source who spoke to Daily Trust said: “Both the old and new notes are legal tender, and banks are currently issuing them to customers. Nigerians should not reject any note, whether old or new.”

More banks dispense old notes

More commercial banks across the country have commenced dispensing the old N500 and N1000 notes to their customers.

This is coming 24 hours after Daily Trust reported that Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) began dispensing the old notes across its branches nationwide on Monday.

Checks by our reporter in Lagos indicated that banks have started issuing the old naira notes to customers at their various Automated Teller Machine (ATM) terminals and over the counter.

Zenith Bank branch in Festac Town paid the old notes to customers over the counter. The ATMs at the branches of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) close to Agege-Pen Cinema Bridge, and GTB in the Ikeja area of Lagos, were also dispensing the old notes.

Findings also revealed that WEMA Bank has instructed its branches to start dispensing the old N500 and N1000 notes nationwide.

Also, an official of Zenith Bank who preferred anonymity said the branch had “received orders to begin dispensing old notes to our customers.” A Zenith Bank customer, Barrister Dike Amadi said, “I was paid the old N500 notes this afternoon at a Zenith Bank branch in Port Harcourt.”

Another customer, Aina Dipo, said, “Old naira notes of N500 and N1000 are now being dispensed in Osogbo, Osun State.”

First Bank, Polaris and Unity undecided

A check at First Bank, Polaris and Unity bank branches, showed that they were only dispensing the old N200 as directed by the CBN.

A First Bank branch manager in Kano said: “We have not received any circular from the CBN to accept the old notes, and that is why that is not happening as we speak.”

Business outlets reject notes

However, there has been a new twist to the crisis as supermarkets, fuel stations and commercial bus drivers in some parts of Lagos are rejecting the old notes.

Olaiya Simileoluwa, a resident of Lagos said, “What is this confusion. Supreme Court says old naira remains valid till December, banks start dispensing old notes but buses, supermarkets, fuel stations, and so on are not collecting the old notes. It’s like this country is on autopilot.”

Similarly, Kate Hensley Haziel who also resides in Lagos said, “I think after the Supreme Court judgment that the old 500 and 1000 naira will remain legal tender until December 2023. The CBN at least still needs to address Nigerians. Many people are still confused about whether or not to accept the old notes.”

Direct CBN to obey S/Court order, Buhari urged

A financial expert, Gbolade Idakolo, said President Muhammadu Buhari should immediately direct the CBN governor to revert to the status quo ante. “The naira redesign policy has shrunk the economy by over a trillion in business losses. Many SMEs have closed shops due to their direct dealings with cash.

“The policy increased hardship for the already stressed population, and the Supreme Court judgement is a great relief,” he said.

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