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500 Prominent Nigerians To Be Invited To Declare Their ‘Untaxed Assets’

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Kemi Adeosun, minister of Finance, says thousands will get letters advising them to pay up the differences in their taxes and take advantage of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme.

According to a statement from the office of the Ministry of Finance, the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun,  said about 500 prominent Nigerians with property and trusts abroad are to be invited to determine their tax compliance status at home.
Premium Times reported that the minister said the 500 Nigerians would be served letters from Monday to invite them to take advantage of the tax amnesty to regularise their tax status and avoid prosecution and fines.
The minister disclosed this on Saturday at a workshop organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, and Joint Tax Board, JTB for lawyers, accountants and other professionals in Lagos.
The names of the affected Nigerians were compiled by the government recently as part of tax amnesty policy under the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme, VAIDS, initiative.
VAIDS, an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the State Tax Authorities, provides tax defaulters a nine-month opportunity to voluntarily and truthfully declare previously untaxed assets and incomes.
The tax amnesty period is expected to lapse on March 31, 2018.
“The first 500 letters are ready and will go out this week,” the Minister said. “But, there are many more.
 
“Receiving the letter is not an accusation of deliberate wrongdoing” but rather a notice that the data suggests possible underpayment and a prompt to check compliance,” the minister explained.
“It is premature to call such persons tax evaders as there are many reasons that taxpayers may have failed to comply. We will only label people as real tax evaders when the amnesty deadline expires and they have failed to regularize.
 
“We are sending out thousands of letters to those in the high risk categories. But our advice is that every person and every company should do a self-assessment and take advantage of VAIDs to correct any under declaration, irrespective of whether they get a letter,” she added.
Mrs. Adeosun said government was generating lots of data, both locally and internationally, on property ownership and other items by Nigerians.
As part of efforts to develop reliable tax payers database, Mrs. Adeosun said government had reviewed all companies that received major payments from the federal government in the last five years to identify those who may have made money from government, but under-declared.
The minister said after the government’s tax compliance team had looked at import records and compared the value of goods imported to the tax declarations of the importers, its findings on the variance was “wide, disturbing and worrisome.”
On personal income tax, she said government had reviewed property and company ownership as well as registration of high value assets and foreign exchange allocations, to give a sense of the lifestyles of their owners.
“We found major non-compliance. In some cases, people declared as little as N10 million as income, but purchased expensive property overseas and in Nigeria, registered high specification vehicles and funded luxurious personal events, costing multiples of the declared income,” she noted.
 
“We have blocked a major loophole by using data to profile tax payers. Thus, someone owning properties across multiple states and overseas can selectively declare knowing that tax authority had no means of cross checking.
 
“This is especially the case with overseas assets and income where state governments lacked jurisdiction. But with the centralisation of data under Project Lighthouse within the Federal Ministry of Finance, a major loophole has been plugged,” she added.
The minister reiterated the willingness of the government to prosecute tax evaders after the tax amnesty period had elapsed.
She therefore called on tax professionals to advise their clients to uphold honesty in the declaration of their assets and income as well as the regularisation of their tax status.
To create awareness on the tax amnesty programme, the minister said the federal government had recruited and trained 2,190 Community Tax Liaison Officers, CTLOs out of which about 1,710 have been deployed to 33 states.
The CTLOs are currently operating in Adamawa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Kaduna, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun and Oyo, among others.
The CTLOs were part of the 7,500 job opportunities the federal government said would be generated for Nigerians through the N-Power scheme.
Noting the cooperation between the federal, states and foreign governments, Mrs. Adeosun said they have provided an unprecedented level of data to the Nigerian government.
These data, she said, had allowed government profile taxpayers accurately and identify those whose lifestyle and assets were not consistent with their declared income.

Source: Premium Times

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Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew

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Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew
Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq

Following the outbreak of violence in some quarters of the State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has declared a 24-hour Curfew on the state starting on Saturday.

Governor Abdulrazaq made this known in a statewide broadcast on Friday night.

Recall that on Friday some residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital stormed the warehouses where the government stored COVID-19 palliatives expected to be distributed to citizens.

Also Read: BREAKING: Lagos Government Relaxes Curfew

The warehouses, located at the cargo warehouse of the International airport in Ilorin as well as the agro-mall located in the Sango area of the state were totally ransacked as residents struggled to pack as much food items as they could.

Abdulrazaq said, “Lives are being threatened. Businesses are being looted. Public properties have been targeted. This is unacceptable. It is not who we are.

“To curb these acts of criminalities, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolis from midnight today October 23rd, 2020. This is in line with Sections 1, 2, and 4 of the Public Order Act Chapter 382 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.

“People are urged to stay indoors in compliance with this curfew. This will be reviewed as we watch developments.

“Our observation is that what has happened today is not a protest, it cannot be defended under any guide, it was a pure act of criminality as some people are hiding under the guise of nationwide protest.”

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Lagos Policemen Brutalise PUNCH Journalists For Covering #EndSARS Protest

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Lagos Policemen Brutalise PUNCH Journalists For Covering #EndSARS Protest

Two PUNCH journalists, Femi Dawodu and Segun Odunayo, were on Wednesday brutalised by policemen guarding the Lagos State House of Assembly in Ikeja.

The duo had gone to cover events around the Alausa area, a major demonstration ground of the #EndSARS protesters calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force.

According to the PUNCH, both Odunayo and Dawodu were recording a live video of activities in the area when the policemen accosted them and ordered them to stop the recording.

After showing the policemen their identity cards, indicating that they are journalists covering #EndSARS protests and monitoring compliance with the government-imposed curfew, the policemen became annoyed and pounced on them.

Odunayo said the policemen tortured them for four hours, adding that they stripped them of their clothes, laid them on the floor, beat them with a stick and guns, and took a video recording of them while torturing them at the Lagos State House of Assembly.

Odunayo said, “Femi and I were at the Secretariat in Alausa around 7 am and were doing a live video of the activities going on in the area. We were heading back to the expressway when a group of armed policemen accosted us at the Lagos State House of Assembly roundabout and immediately collected our phones. We showed them our ID cards, but they refused to let us go.

“What got the policemen annoyed was that we saw them using a stick and a rubber to beat a young man, and during the live video, they heard me saying that they were beating someone. So, after they arrested us, they tortured us and demanded that we should do another live video denying the statement, but we refused.

“Each Time we refused, they slapped us, used a stick to beat us, used the butt of their guns to hit our heads and bodies after stripping us of our clothes. All they wanted was for us to do another live broadcast to claim that we lied and we didn’t because we told the truth.”

Dawodu said it took the intervention of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi before they were released at the Alausa Police Station, adding that before their release, the policemen took their details, including their addresses, took a video record of them and threatened to go after them if any negative report was published about what happened.

He said, “The policemen were transferring the aggression of what is happening regarding the #EndSARS protest on us. They later took us to the Divisional Police Station in Alausa, and if not for the DPO, the policemen guarding the LSHA that arrested us would have done more grievous things to us.

“The PPRO and the DPO later spoke with them, and we were released.

“But despite his intervention, we were told to write statements. They collected our details, address, took video recordings of us making false statements during the torture, and threatened to use it to blackmail and go after us if we end up doing any bad report against them.”

Sahara Reporters

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CCTV At Lekki Toll Gate Was Not Removed -Lekki Concession Company Says

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CCTV At Lekki Toll Gate Was Not Removed -Lekki Concession Company Says

Lekki Concession Company in their press release has debunked the rumour that the Lekki Toll Gate CCTV camera was not removed.

Lekki, Ikoyi tolls will rise on February 1 – LCC - Ivory NG

According to the press release by the company which condemns the unlawful killings of the peaceful protesters said no one gave the order for the removal of the Closed Circuit Television System as the CCTV is still intact as of the time of this report.

Speaking further, the concession company revealed that if the CCTV was to be removed, it would require the use of machinery to reach the heights that they have been installed.

Read the release report below;

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