The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is set to increase excise duties on tobacco and other unhealthy products, in order to help increase revenue and reduce consumption of such products among people in the sub-region.
The decision was part of the aims of the meeting of ECOWAS Financial Council of Ministers in Abuja on Friday.
An excise duty is a type of tax charged on goods produced within the country, as opposed to customs duties, charged on goods from outside the country.
The Vice President of ECOWAS Commission, Edward Singhatey, said member states had begun work on draft directive to harmonise excise duties on tobacco products.
Mr. Singhatey added that the draft would include legislative and regulatory provisions of member states in tracking and tracing mechanisms related to tobacco products.
He said “this is to facilitate smooth running of the domestic market of tobacco products and ensure compliance with obligations of member states under the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in tobacco products.”
The commission’s vice president pointed out that member states had a duty to establish efficient tax collection measures and explore sources of tax revenue.
He, therefore, said that the meeting would consider the draft document to establish an ECOWAS Customs Code aimed at harmonising customs legislations in the sub-region, in line with international requirements.
He noted that “it is important that customs procedures are modernised and simplified so that they do not become obstacles to legitimate trade and oppressive to the very society in which they operate.
“Experts in customs procedures agree that it is possible to maximise revenue collection and at the same time facilitate legitimate trade and protect the society.”
He also said that member states had developed a draft institutional framework for monitoring and steering of the ECOWAS Fiscal Transition Programme.
The programme was designed to facilitate mobilisation of domestic resources for development, monitor the fiscal coordination of domestic taxes and eliminate double taxation, he added.
Singhatey said it was pertinent for member states to work on harmonisation of Value Added Tax (VAT) exemptions “to ensure equal treatment of all economic operators in the community.”
Source: ( NAN )
2020 Finance Bill Exempts Minimum Wage Earners From Tax: Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that the recently proposed 2020 Finance Bill will exempt workers earning the minimum wage from paying tax.
Buhari disclosed this on Monday in a speech delivered virtually by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the opening session of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit Group Conference themed: “Building Partnerships for Resilience.”
“We are proposing in the new Finance Act that those who earn minimum wage should be exempted from paying income tax,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.
“These provisions which complement the tax breaks given to small businesses last year will not only further stimulate the economy but are also a fulfilment of promises made to take steps to help reduce the cost of transportation and the impact of inflation on ordinary Nigerians.”
Nigeria Will Exit Recession By First Quarter Of 2021 – Finance Minister
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has revealed that Nigeria would emerge from recession in the fourth quarter of this year or by the first quarter of 2021.
Speaking on Monday at the ongoing 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab said the current recession would be short-lived.
She blamed COVID-19 for the current recession, saying it followed the pattern across the world where many countries had entered an economic recession.
“Nigeria is not alone in this, but I will say that Nigeria has outperformed all of these economies in terms of the record of a negative growth,” Ahmed said.
Court Remands Nigerian Senator, Ali Ndume, In Prison
Senator Ali Ndume, the lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial district has been ordered on Monday by a federal high court to be sent to prison.
The order follows his inability to produce Abdulrasheed Maina, the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Task Team, whom he stood as surety for in his corruption and money laundering trial.
The high court, sitting in Abuja was presided over by Justice Okon Abang and ordered Senator Ndume to be remanded in Kuje correctional centre.
Justice Abang, however, gave three conditions upon which Ndume can regain his freedom namely payment of N500m bail bond into the Federation Account of the Federal Government and present evidence of such payment in court or the FG sells the property situated in Asokoro, Abuja which Ndume pledge as security for the bond and present evidence of sale and payment of the N500m realised into the Federation Account or he (Ndume) produces Maina, who is believed to have now jumped bail, in court.
Shortly after the pronouncement by the Judge, Senator Ndume was led away from the courtroom by security operatives.
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