President Buhari has inaugurated the board of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission. The commissioners were inaugurated at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, with Elias Mbam as the chairman. The RMAFC is the body responsible for preparing the formula for sharing revenues among the three tiers of government in the country. It is also responsible for fixing the remuneration of political office holders as well as monitoring the revenues accruing to the federation account from revenue-generating agencies. This ends more than three years of the revenue body without substantive leadership. It will also end the inability of the body to make policy decisions for lack of quorum given that the commission had progressively diminished in the number of commissioners. 30 new members of the commission were inaugurated. The commission is made up of 37 members with each state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory represented by a commissioner. Although Buhari had in July 2016 announced the reappointment of Elias Mbam as chairman, his name was not sent to the National Assembly until recently when it became necessary to fill the depleted body. Mbam left the commission in November 2015 after the end of his first five-year tenure.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service generated more than ₦93 billion at the end of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme. The chairman of FIRS, Babatunde Fowler, said that the scheme has also helped to increase the numbers of taxpayers in the country as about ₦66 billion has been paid out of the over ₦93 billion. FIRS had a 100 percent increase in terms of the number of taxpayers, which grew from 10 million to 20 million in the last two years. Fowler also said that the agency is set to launch the new Tax Identification Number process on 1 July in order to have one tax database for the whole country, including corporates and individuals. By this, Fowler said, tax payment and clearance can be done anywhere in the country, irrespective of the taxpayer or business’ location. The system also helps with the capacity to capture biometrics from individuals’ BVN or those captured from the Corporate Affairs Commission.
Nigeria’s states are currently in receipt of various grants and soft loans worth about $4 billion from the World Bank. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state, who is the chairman of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum, ssaid that the grants among others, are geared to enhancing the abilities of the states to meet the needs of their people. Speaking during a meeting of state governors with the World Bank’s Country Director, Rachid Benmessaoud and his team, Fayemi noted that the funds provided to the states come with long moratorium and low interest rates to offset them. On his part, Benmessaoud who noted that the bank has been particularly engaged with the NGF as the important platform for engaging with the sub-national governments beside engagements at the state level, however explained that the World Bank mission was to fight poverty and build prosperity.
Uber Technologies Inc., a global ride-hailing company is in talks with regulators over plans of expansion into two West African countries and provide a boat service in Nigeria’s Lagos, the company’s Chief Business Officer, Brooks Entwistle, told Reuters on Thursday. The transportation network company, which said it has 36,000 active drivers in sub-Saharan Africa, operates in a number of countries in East and South Africa but is largely absent from West Africa, aside from Nigeria and Ghana. According to Entwistle, the firm was in talks with regulators in Ivory Coast and Senegal regarding the possible launch of services. Entwistle said Uber was in talks with Lagos state regulators about providing a transport system on the city’s waterways for users to bypass its congested roads. The Uber executive, who described Lagos as “one of the great growth opportunity cities in the world”, said the company has also held discussions with a bus firm and regulators in the city. He said the talks were in line with a global push by the company to develop products that can work alongside public transit systems. Entwistle said the combination of population growth and congestion made Lagos, and other cities in the region, attractive. The company has launched a boat service in the Indian city of Mumbai in the last few months.