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TAX ENFORCEMENT AND PROSECUTION OF DEFAULTERS IN LAGOS STATE TO COMMENCE AFTER MARCH 31st DEADLINE …LIRS enjoins corporate organizations and individuals to comply with the tax laws

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In consonance with Section 82 of the Personal Income Tax Act (as amended), The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) wishes to formally notify the public of its intention to commence the prosecution of tax evaders and offenders in Lagos State beginning from April 1,2016.

Under the Personal Income Tax Act, a taxable person is statutorily required to file a return of income for the preceding year within 90days from the commencement of every year of assessment (March 31st is the deadline), whilst any employer of labour is required to file all emoluments paid to its employees for the preceding year, not later than 31st of January each year. Therefore any taxable person or corporate organisation who fails to file their tax returns with LIRS by the stipulated date is in breach of the provisions of the law, which is a criminal offence that is punishable under the tax laws.

The LIRS, having put all the necessary machineries in place to ensure the enforcement of the tax laws with effect from April 1, 2016 has warned all erring taxpayers to comply; reiterating that the full weight of the law will be brought to bear on taxable persons who fail to file requisite returns as provided by the law.

While many taxpayers have complied willingly by filing their returns in the last months, It is disheartening to note that in spite of all efforts by the LIRS, a large fraction of eligible taxpayers are still not complying, thereby failing to contribute to the common purse for the common good of all. In the wake of little or no proceeds from the federation account, the focus of the present administration in renewing infrastructure and general development of the State cannot be achieved by the attitude of those who deliberately refuse to discharge their civic responsibility to the State.

Without revenue, all of those things that facilitate our progress as a civilized community will not materialize, if there are no infrastructural developments like roads to get to business sites businesses cannot thrive, if we do not have all the services that government is compelled to offer e.g. security, education, healthcare, and law and order as it is being proffered by the court then we cannot make progress collectively.

LIRS has in the last three months embarked on massive advocacy and enlightenment programmes, taking people through a process of education on the laws bordering on tax administration and the need and benefits of paying their taxes as at when due.

We have gone further to develop various initiatives to ease the methodology of paying taxes in Lagos, starting with thesimplification of our tax payment processes, through the compression of the ‘Tax Form A’ from 6pages to 2 pages, introduction of new payment platforms, e-submission of annual returns, creation of the LIRS hotline (0700CALLLIRS) and help desks in all tax stations, relaxation of requirements for replacement of lost e-TCC among others, all of which are focused on building convenience into the payment of taxes and subsequently promoting voluntary compliance.

We are now going to the next phase, which is enforcement and prosecution, that is taking full advantage of the provisions of the tax laws to apprehend and prosecute tax defaulters.

According to the Executive Chairman of LIRS, Mr. Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, ‘We have a robust database that captures all taxable individuals and firms in Lagos State as well as transactions for the purpose of audit, so there is no hiding place for any tax evader”. He therefore calls on every taxable person in Lagos State to take advantage of the window on or before the March 31st deadline to ensure that his or her tax return has been duly filed.He added that The Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice will through the Rapid Tax Prosecution Unit commence prosecution of tax defaulters in Lagos State without further notice.

LIRS however wishes to thank the good people of Lagos State who have continually supported the administration of His Excellency Mr Akinwunmi Ambode through voluntary and prompt payment of their taxes and reiterate that we will continue to take full advantage of the provisions of the law to prosecute recalcitrant corporate organisations and individuals. It is important to note that all tax evaders and offenders, upon prosecution may be fined or imprisoned or face both as provided in Section 95, 96 and 97 of the Personal Income Tax Act.

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Union Bank, WACOT Rice Kick Off Financial Inclusion Drive for Smallholder Farmers in Kebbi

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As part of Union Bank’s commitment to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, the Bank has partnered with WACOT Rice Limited – a rice processing company, to financially include 6,000 local farmers including youth and women in Kebbi State.
The Kebbi Financial Inclusion Drive (KFID) which will cover four Local Government Areas – Argungu, Augie, Suru, and Dandi – is a critical part of WACOT’s Argungu Outgrower Expansion Project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) West Africa Trade Hub. This program is set to resolve the overwhelming financial inclusion deficit within rural communities in Kebbi.
The financial inclusion initiative is being implemented with technical support from National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to help the farmers acquire the relevant documentation and identification required to open bank accounts.
Union Bank will facilitate account opening and expand its agency banking network to cover the areas while supporting its agents on ground with digital banking solutions to enable seamless transacting and account management.
Farouk Gumel, Chairman WACOT and Board Chair, Union Bank was on ground in Kebbi State to kick-off the drive and paid a visit to the Kebbi state Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to discuss expanding the programme state-wide.
In his recent keynote address at the recently concluded and  Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Conference, Mr. Gumel said:
 “As we work towards achieving financial inclusion to reach the unbanked, we must commit the same resources and investments to rural-local customers as we have done to urban-global clients to help create the growth that will lift us all to collective prosperity.”
WACOT Rice is a subsidiary of TGI Group. TGI Group, through another of its subsidiary Titan Trust Bank, recently acquired Union Bank in a landmark transaction which was announced in 2021.

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FIRSTBANK PARTNERS VERVE INTERNATIONAL, MAKES CUSTOMERS MILLIONAIRES IN THE FIRSTBANK VERVE CARD PROMO

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In partnership with FirstBank – Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider – Verve International, Africa’s leading payment technology and card business, has launched its third National Consumer promo designed to reward users of FirstBank verve card with exciting gifts and cash prizes to appreciate their patronage and use of the card to carry-out their electronic banking transactions.

The ongoing 2-month promo will end on 30 October 2022 as 20 customers (10 customers per month) with the highest transaction count during the promo will be made millionaires, winning the sum of N1 million each. Also, N20,000 will be won by 25 customers monthly.

On the other hand, 2620 FirstBank verve cardholders that double their transactions every week, stand a chance to enjoy 10% cashback capped at N2,000 per customer.

Speaking on the promo Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, FirstBank said “we appreciate our partnership with Verve Card through the years; a partnership of empowerment and opportunities which include growing the economy, supporting new businesses and preventing unemployment. FirstBank verve card holders are encouraged to keep using their cards as it is a card offering that promotes safe, convenient and rewarding digital banking experience with 20 customers standing a chance to be millionaires at the end of the promo.”

Verve card is a secure debit card that allows cardholders to conveniently meet their daily financial needs such as payment for goods and services, airtime recharge, bill payments, funds transfer, etc. Verve card is accepted across all ATMs, POS, Web and Mobile Platforms in Nigeria.

The promo is also opened to new verve cardholders as non-verve cardholders are encouraged to visit the nearest FirstBank branch today to pick up a Verve card and start getting rewarded!

Only recently, FirstBank – in partnership with Verve – rewarded over 2601 FirstBank verve cardholders with various prizes; including N20,000 cash prize, N10,000 cash prize, N10,000 worth of airtime; power generating sets, refrigerator, cooking gas, smart TV and the grand prize of a brand-new car to a lucky winner.

 

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Federal Government Orders University Vice-Chancellors To Reopen Schools, Begin Lectures Amid 7 Months Lecturers’ Strike

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The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

The Nigerian government has directed vice-chancellors to re-open universities and allow students to resume lectures immediately.

The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

 

The letter which The PUNCH obtained on Monday, was reportedly addressed to all vice-chancellors; Pro-Chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities.

 

“Ensure that ASUU members immediately resume/commence lectures; Restore the daily activities and routines of the various University campuses,” the letter partly reads.

We had reported that the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its ongoing nationwide strike.

 

It reported that the umbrella body of the lecturers in public universities had declared a warning strike on February 14, to force the Nigerian Government to implement agreements it earlier signed with the union.

 

The agreement stipulated how university education would be funded for better improvement.

 

The strike has since rolled over and is now in its seventh month following the government’s failure to implement all the agreements.

 

Several meetings between ASUU and the Federal Government have ended in a deadlock.

 

Consequently, the Federal Government went to court to challenge the strike.

 

The government through its counsel, James Igwe, prayed the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining ASUU from taking further steps as regards the strike, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

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