The Federal Inland Revenue Service says a total of 23,141 defaulters owe it ₦254 billion in tax liabilities, and that it has recovered more than ₦97.7 billion from tax defaulters since it began to pressure the banks. Speaking at the 49th Annual Accountant Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Babatunde Fowler of the FIRS said that the service in collaboration with the banks has started engaging in compliance measures with regards tax defaulters and their accounts. He said failure to comply would be interpreted as an economic crime giving the FIRS no option but to enforce its rights and apply appropriate sanctions according to Section 31 subsection 1-3 and 32 respectively of the FIRS Act 2007. The sanctions, he noted, would begin with delisting defaulting banks from the FIRS collection list. The banks as tax collecting agents were directed to make specific deductions from alleged tax defaulters’ accounts and pay such over to the FIRS in full or partial payment of the alleged tax debt. Before the FIRS took such a harsh stance, it had undertaken tax amnesty programmes such as the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme without much success. Fowler added that so far, 3,976 out of 44,293 non-compliant companies had paid about ₦97.7 billion.
The Vice President, Network Operations, Airtel Nigeria, Adedoyin Adeola said mobile network operators were buying an average of 40 million litres of diesel per month to power telecom sites. With the average cost of diesel in Nigeria at ₦220 per litre, this amounts to ₦8.8bn every month. According to Adeola, network operators in Nigerian and a few other African countries are the only ones who introduce two power generating sets into their business case to make for 12-hour shifts.
Nigeria’s total foreign trade, the value of exports and imports, hit ₦8.60 trillion in Q2 2019, up from ₦8.24 trillion recorded in Q1. The foreign trade report from the NBS showed that in Q2 2019, the value of Nigeria’s total foreign trade stood at ₦8.60 trillion comprising 46.6 percent imports, ₦4 trillion and 53.4 percent exports, ₦4.59 trillion. The breakdown showed that the value of the country’s total trade rose by 4.4 percent from Q1. Total crude oil export was estimated at ₦2.65 trillion, while non-crude oil export was ₦661 billion and non-oils exports were put at ₦227.6 billion. Combined with the Q1 2019 performance, Nigeria’s trade balance declined by 63.14 percent relative to the same period in 2018. The value of total trade at half-year 2019 was 15.43 percent higher than for the same period in 2018. The value of total exports in Q2 2019 rose by 1.34 percent against the level recorded in Q1 2019 and 2.06 percent when compared with its value in Q2, 2018. Exports by sectors show that crude oil export accounted for almost 90 percent of Nigeria’s total export in Q2 2019. Crude oil export among others in Q2 was estimated at ₦3.9 trillion, from ₦3.3 trillion in Q1 2019.
British American Tobacco has said it plans to cut 2,300 jobs globally by January as its new boss, Jack Bowles seeks to drive revenues in controversial e-cigarettes. The announcement came a day after the US said it would soon ban flavoured e-cigarette products to stem a rising tide of youth users following a spike in vaping-linked deaths. Bowles said he aimed to oversee a step change in new category growth and significantly simplify the current ways of working and business processes. The vast majority of BAT’s £24.5 billion revenue in 2018 came from traditional cigarettes. Its brands include Rothmans, Dunhill and Lucky Strike. The company said it could save money to invest in alternative products such as vaping and heated tobacco by stripping out layers of management around the world. The cigarette firm has, however not said how many of the job cuts would fall in different countries as more than 20 percent of the cut will be senior roles. Bowles, who took over this year after the eight-year tenure of Nicandro Durante, said he wanted to make BAT “a stronger, simpler and faster organisation” that was ready for a future in which people moved away from cigarettes. BAT would be “better placed” to deliver £5.0 billion (₦2.225 trillion) in new category revenues by 2024, he said.