• The FIRS says it has commenced harmonising taxes in Nigeria as part of efforts to reduce cases of multiple taxation. The tax agency announced the plan at a roundtable discussion on women and the informal sector organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development on Friday in Abuja. “Some of the taxes Nigerians complain of as being imposed on them, especially on the market women, are done by states, not FIRS,” Clara Nnachi, Senior Manager on Investigation at the agency said. “The Joint Tax Board as a body is working together with the FIRS to harmonise tax collection from small businesses all over Nigeria. We have the National Tax Implementation Committee working on the National Tax Policy to harmonies the taxes that are being paid in different states,” she added.
  • Between January and February 2018, 390,000 workers from the public and private sectors joined the Contributory Pension Scheme, according to PenCom. The regulator’s Acting Director-General, Aisha Dahir-Umar told a workshop organised by the Commission for Journalists in Uyo that the country’s pension coffers gained ₦270 billion, increasing from ₦7.52 trillion to ₦7.779 trillion. She said the commission was intensifying efforts to ensure that the provision of necessary infrastructure for the launch of the Micro Pension Scheme in line with its strategic objective of expanding coverage of the CPS to the informal sector. “This is a major kernel of the strategy for expanding coverage of the contributory pension scheme. The guidelines for the Micro Pension Scheme are being finalised preparatory to the commencement of the scheme,” she added.
  • Four commercial banks paid ₦493.27 million in fines during the 2016 and 2017 financial years for breaching the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act. NAN reports that the affected banks are: UBA, FCMB, Access and GTB. A breakdown as contained in the banks’ annual reports showed that UBA paid the highest fine of ₦162.64 million for various contraventions during the review period. The bank paid ₦75 million in the 2017 financial year for various contraventions having paid ₦87.64 million in 2016. Access Bank was next, paying ₦133.48 million, broken down to ₦78 million in 2017 and ₦55.48 million in 2016. The FCMB Group paid a total of ₦117. 02 million, ₦28.26 million in 2017, and ₦88.76 million in 2016. Similarly, GTBank paid ₦80.13 million, which include ₦18.08 million in 2017 and ₦62.05 million in 2016.
  • Nestle Nigeria announced its Q1 financial results which showed a marginal growth in performance indications. The company, which recorded a jump of 325 percent in profit after tax for the 2017 financial year, started 2018 on a slow note as PAT for Q1 rose by a marginal three percent. Details of the results showed gross revenue of ₦67.5 billion in Q1, up by 10.7 percent from ₦37.7 billion in the corresponding period of 2017. Cost of sales went up by 10.7 percent from ₦37.7 billion to ₦41.7 billion. Profit before tax fell by 4.5 percent from ₦14.3 billion to ₦13.6 billion. A 15 percent reduction in tax from ₦5.9 billion in 2017 to ₦5 billion in 2018, made the company end the Q1 with a higher profit margin. Furthermore, Nestle Nigeria’s PAT stood at ₦8.6 billion in 2018, up from ₦8.4 billion. Gross profit margin fell from 38.4 percent to 38.2 percent, while net profit margin reduced from 13.7 percent to 12.8 percent in 2018. Market operators said if Nestle Nigeria would be unable to improve its performance in the remaining three quarters, it might end the year with a lower bottom-line.
  • Multichoice Nigeria, the parent company of DStv, says it may consider the pay-as-you-consume payment option in the future. The proposed pay-as-you-consume pricing scheme allows users pay according to their effective resource consumption excluding interference. The Guardian reports that John Ugbe, managing director of Multichoice Nigeria, made this statement on Friday on the sidelines of the Digital Dialogue conference in Dubai. At present, subscribers can only suspend their subscriptions twice a year when they are out of town. Most subscribers have called for the introduction of the PAYC option, saying the current fixed plan payment is a rip-off. In 2017, Multichoice’s head of public relations, Caroline Oghuma controversially said the PAYC option was not obtainable in TV business.