The Federal Government has said that it will begin automation of all import exemption certificates in a bid to stop revenue losses.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had granted the approval for a gateway platform under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to manage a portal in charge of issuance of import duty exemption certificates.
This according to the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Ministry of Finance, Mohammed Dikwa, will help speed up the process of approvals and standardization.
He added that the Ministry decided to key into the Federal Government’s top agendas of economic growth fight corruption and provide security.
“The continuous incidence of revenue losses due to manual processing of applications, incidence of multiple use of approvals, delay in processing applications, indiscriminate allocations and subjectivity in the approval process has remained a major constraint in the monitoring, evaluation and standardizing the process of granting waivers and certificates.
“In order to address these challenges, the ministry has keyed into the priority programmes of this administration which is to grow the economy, protect lives and properties in line with the constitution and fight corruption. To support this initiative, we embark on reforming the processes; this involves re-engineering the processes from the application to issuance and validations by the Nigeria Customs Service.”
Netflix shares rallied Wednesday after its latest quarterly update showed robust subscriber growth and better-than-expected profits ahead of a major escalation in the streaming television war.
Netflix reported a net income of $665 million in the recently ended quarter, jumping up from $403 million in the same period last year and topping most analyst forecasts.
Revenue and subscriber growth, however, came in just shy of market consensus. The California-based company saw revenue up 31 percent at $5.25 billion and added 6.8 million subscribers worldwide to reach a total of 158.3 million.
Netflix shares climbed more than 10 percent after-market trades.
The company, whose recent hits include “Stranger Things” and “The Crown,” was upbeat on its ability to thrive even as powerful competitors such as Disney and Apple enter the streaming market in November.
When Netflix began streaming television to subscribers online some 12 years ago — in a pivot from just lending video discs through the mail — it was essentially Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube and Netflix itself competing with traditional television, chief executive Reed Hastings said in an earnings broadcast.
And all of the streaming rivals will still find their main competition in broadcast TV, according to Hastings, who was confident Netflix would thrive through compelling original shows.
“We see both Apple and Disney launching essentially the same week after 12 years of not being in the market,” Hastings said.
“Fundamentally, it is more of the same. Disney will be a great competitor; Apple is just beginning but, you know, they will probably have some great shows too.”
But eMarketer analyst Eric Haggstrom said the latest report includes signs of trouble ahead for the market leader, which fell short of its subscriber targets.
“The fourth quarter represents a completely new ballgame for Netflix as Disney+ and Apple TV+ will compete not just for subscribers, but for hit shows as well,” Haggstrom said.
“The fact that Netflix has shown disappointing growth without the new competition present is a negative omen for Netflix in 2020 and beyond.”
And more competition looms on the horizon, as AT&T’s WarnerMedia will launch its new Netflix rival “HBO Max” in early 2020 after reclaiming the rights from Netflix to stream its popular television comedy “Friends.”
Netflix slightly trimmed its forecast for subscriber growth, saying it expected the count to be up 26.7 million at the end of this year, but that its positive outlook for the future remained firm.
It cited factors such as uncertainty about new viewers, response to price changes and forthcoming competition.
The third quarter’s rise in revenue also means Netflix could invest to improve the service and make more original shows to battle competition in markets around the world.
“We have been moving increasingly to original content both because of the anticipated pullback of second run content from some studios and because our original content is working in the form of member viewing and engagement,” Netflix said.
“We’re expanding our non-English language original offerings because they continue to help grow our penetration in international markets.”
Netflix has released originally produced local language shows in 17 countries and has plans to expand to 30, according to chief content officer Ted Sarandos.
Netflix’s original films released in the recently ended quarter included “solid hits” such as “Secret Obsession,” starring Brenda Song, and “Otherhood,” directed by Cindy Chupack.
Netflix-backed films set for release this quarter include Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” with actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, and “Marriage Story,” starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver.
“Amazing content can be expensive,” Netflix said.
“We don’t shy away from taking bold swings if we think the business impact will also be amazing.”
Netflix said it would spend about $15 billion in cash on content this year, with the majority of that money devoted to producing original shows.
Netflix also sees its technology platform as an advantage, enabling it to stream to people on all kinds of devices and to mine mountains of data to feed users recommendations about what to watch next — and to give producers insights about what audiences like.
Hastings reasoned that with Facebook and YouTube boasting billions of active users, and billions of mobile phones users who can stream shows from the internet, there is a huge market for Netflix and its rivals to share.
Barcelona expect to record revenues of more than one billion euros for the 2019-2020 season, becoming the first football club to pass the mark, the Catalan club announced on Thursday.
According to figures released ahead of the general meeting of their “socios” (supporters, shareholders) scheduled for October 6, Barca expect a revenue of 1.047 billion euros ($1.16 billion) in the fiscal campaign just started, which is six percent more than last season when the club generated 990 million euros.
“It’s an historic record for a sports club, it’s better than the NBA and NFL franchises and other football clubs,” Barcelona managing director Oscar Grau told a news conference.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu had set a strategic goal of being the first outfit to reach the one billion euro mark by the end of his presidency in 2021.
Main sporting rival Real Madrid, president Florentino Perez targetted a similar goal.
In the projected budget presented by Barca, the expenses amount to 1.007 billion euros for a net profit after tax of 11 million euros.
Grau explained that “one of the club’s challenges” was to “reduce the payroll” of its professional athletes.
In 2019-2020, spending on sports salaries is expected to fall by three percent, from 525 to 507 million euros.
The club has budgeted 73 million euros to finance the remodelling of Camp Nou and its surroundings, a vast project called “Espai Barca”.
Grau, who said in 2018 he was hopeful to find a title sponsor for the project by the end of the first half of 2019, said the club was continuing its research and studying alternative forms of financing.
“We want to make a good deal, we do not want to sell, so we are looking for a financial restructuring of Espai Barca so that the project does not stop,” said Grau.
Regarding the accounts for the 2018-2019 financial year, the treasurer Enrique Tombas confirmed the figures mentioned during the summer by the club: 990 million euros of turnover, 973 million euros of expenses and a profit after tax of five million euros.
Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward underlined the club’s hunger for silverware on Tuesday after announcing record-breaking revenues.
United, under manager Jose Mourinho, are seventh in the Premier League after a disappointing start to the season, eight points behind leaders Liverpool and six behind reigning champions Manchester City.
The club has not won the Premier League since 2013, under former boss Alex Ferguson.
United, who have been top of the Deloitte Football Money League for two successive years, brought in £590 million ($776 million) in the year ending June 30, 2018 — a rise of just 1.5 percent on the previous year.
But the expectation is for revenue to rise to between £615 million and £630 million over the coming financial year.
“Everyone at the club is working tirelessly to add to Manchester United’s 66 and Jose’s 25 trophies,” Woodward said. “That is what our passionate fans and our history demands.
“We are committed to our philosophy of blending top academy graduates with world-class players and are proud that, once again, last season we had more academy graduate minutes on the pitch than any other Premier League club.
“Our increased revenue expectation for the year demonstrates our continued strong long-term financial performance which underpins everything we do and allows us to compete for top talent in an increasingly competitive transfer market.”
Manchester City earlier this month posted record revenues of £500.5 million following their record-breaking season.
United’s annual accounts reveal that the Old Trafford giants paid employees £295.9 million in fiscal 2018 — a hike of £32.4 million over the previous year.
The club said the increase was “primarily due to player salary uplifts related to participation in the UEFA Champions League” but Alexis Sanchez’s January arrival will also have made an impact.
United saw operating profits drop by 45.4 percent to £44.1 million. That was largely due to the United States’ federal corporate income tax rate being reduced from 35 percent to 21 percent.
Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) were £177.1 million, down from £199.8 million the previous year.
Ardene Wenger insisted Tuesday there was no chance he would jeopardise Arsenal’s financial stability with lavish spending on new players during the rest of the January transfer window.
Monday saw Alexis Sanchez leave the Emirates for Old Trafford in a high-profile swap deal, with Manchester United’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan coming the other way.
Veteran manager Wenger has long been a believer in clubs not spending “beyond their natural resources” and last week angered Gunners fans by saying there was no way the London side could match the reported £500,000 ($697,000, 569,000 euros) weekly wages on offer to Sanchez at United.
That is despite a report published by British-based consultancy firm Deloitte on Tuesday that shows Arsenal have leapfrogged Paris Saint-Germain into sixth in the global money league of the world’s highest revenue generating football clubs, following an annual increase of £70 million. United head the list.
Arsenal face London rivals Chelsea, not averse to high spending under Russian owner Roman Abramovich, in the second leg of a currently goalless English League Cup semi-final on Wednesday, with the often lowly-regarded tournament now representing the Gunners’ best chance of silverware this season after they failed to qualify for the Champions League, lie sixth in the Premier League and were knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest.
Wenger, tight-lipped about Arsenal’s prospects of signing Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the January transfer window, also said Arsenal still faced financial constraints as a result of moving to the Emirates Stadium back in 2006.
“You have not to forget that we have as well financial restrictions form the banks because we have built the stadium,” said Wenger when told Arsenal had spent less on players than other clubs in a Deloitte top 10.
“It is important, we have to respect the financial plan. We work very hard to become richer and we achieve it,” the Frenchman, in charge at Arsenal since 1996, added.
“At the end of the day, we are a serious football club who has responsibilities and we want to spend the money we can afford. If you cannot afford, you have to say ‘no, sorry, can’t do that’.
“After that, we have to spend the money in the most intelligent way we can on the transfer market that has become a bit out of control.”
Arsenal were last crowned champions of England in 2004 but Wenger said winning the title was about more than spending money.
“I’m convinced that the way football is going, it’s maybe not only to buy players with huge amounts of money, but have players in your team who care about your club, have a sense of belonging and a pride of belonging to the club.
“I would rather encourage a club to push more on the quality of our youth work, which we are doing, than go into a way where it’s only about millions and not so much about values.”
Sanchez left Arsenal just months before his contract was due to run out at the end of the season and former Gunners defender Martin Keown accused the Chile international of being the “biggest mercenary in football”.
But plenty of other observers had no qualms over a move which appears to offer Sanchez a better chance of winning major honours, with Manchester United great and new Wales manager Ryan Giggs saying the forward was a “ready-made superstar”.
“He can combine both,” said Wenger when asked if the 29-year-old Sanchez had joined United for financial or football reasons.
“I think he goes to a great club and gets a great contract so you can understand it when a professional player can combine both aspects.”
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun has said the nation needs to generate more revenue through the payment of tax by Nigerians in order to solve the problem of borrowing.
Speaking during a press conference at the 2017 World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings in Washington DC, United States, on Sunday, she said although the government has a role to play in being more efficient, Nigerians also have a role to play by paying taxes properly.
“The solution to borrowing in Nigeria is that we must pay taxes. If we pay the taxes properly, there’s no need to borrow. I am not suggesting that there isn’t a responsibility on the part of the government to be more responsible and more efficient, we are really focusing on this, we are trying to find a way to cut costs.
“Fundamentally, we must invest. We don’t have the power that we need, we don’t have the roads yet. We are a work in progress. There’s a lot of money to be spent to reposition this economy, and we need to generate much more by way of tax.”
Kemi Adeosun said the nation needs to tolerate more debts by borrowing because Nigeria currently has one of the lowest debt-to-Gross Domestic Product figures in the world adding that the current administration has no plan to go into massive borrowing which it would not be able to sustain.
“Nigeria’s debt-to-Gross Domestic Product ratio is one of the lowest actually. It is about 19 per cent. Most advanced countries have over 100 per cent. I am not saying we want to move to 100 per cent. But I’m saying we need to tolerate a little bit more debt in the short term to deliver roads, rail, and power.
“That, in itself, will generate economic activities and jobs, which will then generate revenue which will be used to pay back (the loans). It is a strategic decision that as a country we have to make.”
Explaining more on why the country had to borrow, Adeosun said, the nation is confronted with the challenge of either reducing public services or to begin to generate revenue.
“If we think back at the problem that we faced, it will be very important to put this in context. Our principal source of revenue plummeted by up to 85 per cent. So, we had two choices: You either reduce public services massively, which would have meant massive job losses or you borrow in the short term until you can begin to generate revenue.
“As the All Progressives Congress (the ruling party), we felt laying off thousands of people was not the way to stimulate the economy. Also, when we came into office, about 27 state governments could not pay salaries. If we had allowed that situation to persist, we would have been in depression now.
“So, we took the view that as a government the best for us to do was to stimulate the demand and spend our way out of trouble. Let the state government pay salaries, make sure the Federal Government can pay salary and invest in capital projects to get people back to work. Once growth is restored, you can now begin to systematically reduce short dependence on borrowing and increase revenue.”
The Ogun State Government says it is targeting over N3bn additional revenue from the informal sector of the state economy as it enlists about one million residents from the sector into the tax net.
The Chairman of the State Internal Revenue Service, Mr Kunle Adeosun, made this disclosure during an interview with journalists while on a road show to markets and motor parks where he enlightened residents on the Voluntary Assets And Income Declaration Scheme in Abeokuta, the state capital.
“Our target in the informal sector is to at least quadruple what we get in payee because that is where the volume is. In Ogun state, the population is put at about seven million and out of those seven million, people taxable is roughly 40 percent of that,” Adeosun said.
“So out of those 40 percent, if we can get just additional one million people in the informal sector, then we are home ground. Minimum tax there is 3,100 and if you multiply that by one million people, that is over three billion. That is on the average.” he concluded
While asking residents to show better understanding with the government as the scheme gradually takes effect, Mr Adeosun said that the state government will apply the full weight of the law against defaulters
”The federal government launched the Tax Thursday about two weeks ago. Part of the scheme is to run enlightenment on Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme. Every Thursday has now been designated as Tax Thursday until next week when the amnesty programme ends.”
”In all locations, we will be running this every Thursday just to make sure that we draw more enlightenment for people to come and file all the assets and income they have not declared in the past and to take advantage of this amnesty programme,” he said
He explained that the government is not only targeting the informal sector but everyone that has assets and income they have not declared in the past.
“Even if you are a payee, where you pay your tax but have investment income like a gas station or rentals, you are supposed to pay taxes on those other businesses in addition to the payee you do,” he said.
”There is punishment for defaulters but if you come and declare voluntarily during the tenure of this scheme, you will not face a penalty but once the scheme ends, then it is back to the enabling law which allows for penalty, interest and jail term.”
A total of N370 billion has been distributed to the federal, state and local governments for the month of January.
Addressing journalists after the monthly Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting in Abuja, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said gross statutory revenue received for the January stood at two N290billion.
While attributing a shortfall of N24 billion drop in revenue to shut down and maintenance repairs at major oil terminals, she said a total of N2 billion owed the Federal Government was refunded by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Normalcy has returned to the Benin Airport. Flight Operations commenced late in the evening of Tuesday, July 30th, after the crisis over the remittance of taxes by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
A visit however to the administrative block which was sealed up on the orders of the court yesterday revealed that the restraining order has been removed by officials of FAAN who also have commenced work at the premises.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Board of Internal Revenue said it will explore other legal options available to get them to pay their taxes.
The board also frowned at the refusal of federal parastatal to pay tax, stating that “34 of them in Edo state owe over N2 billion pay as you earn taxes between 2009 and 2012”.
Executive Chairman of the Board, Oseni Elama said the taxes the government is demanding is “PAYE which have already been deducted from employees, not tenement rate as is being peddled” adding that “even the Federal Government is deducting N825 million from the state account monthly part of which is a backlog of Value Added Tax owed by previous administrations”.
This is the third time in three years that the FAAN office is being sealed up over non remittance of tax obligations.
The State Government is also in court against the PHCN over non remittance of PAYE taxes to the tune of about N700 million.
The State of Oregon in the United States of America has sentenced a 25 year old woman to five and a half years in prison after she pleaded guilty to three counts of felony fraud and a felony count of tax evasion.
Remorseful Krystle Marie Reyes admitted she had collected $2.1 million in tax refund from the State of Oregon and so far the State has recovered close to $1.9 million from the stated amount. Resigning to fate, Marie said she will be taking responsibility for her actions.
According to report, Marie received a refund on her debit card and lavished $150,000, after which she reported lost or stolen card twice, an incident that aroused the suspicion of the Oregon Department of Revenue.
Working at a retirement/care homes, Marie was reported to be earning less than $15,000 per year in 2009 and 2010 but her way of living escalated as she went on spending spree as she bought with cash a 1999 Dodge Caravan which cost $1,800 and $851 on tires and wheels.
Other purchases Marie made included a queen-sized air mattress, a deep fryer, an air conditioner and a cream and grey floral rug. She bought a sofa and recliner with brown leather trim.
It was further reported that Marie filed in January an electronic tax return where she made a request for refund of $2.1 million which automated system of Turbo tax red-flagged. She also claimed she had earnings of more than $3 million.
Due to the request being red-flagged, the request tagged a potential fraud by the processing staff and managers, it was also set aside for review but was later shelved by a Revenue employee who overrode the flagged and the refund was issued.
The return was set aside for review by processing staff and managers for potential fraud. But “sometime later,” the affidavit said, a Revenue employee overrode the flagged payment and the refund was issued.
According to card policy, at least three employees are required to give verification to the override but no one responsible for reviewing the return opened the file to look at it or looked at the W-2 form Reyes filed, the affidavit stated.
Fitch Ratings on Tuesday said that the partial removal of fuel subsidy in Nigeria in January will likely result in extra resources of about N150 billion for distribution among the Nigerian state governments.
According to Fitch’s calculations, the lower deductions at source will result in an increase for states of about 5%-10% of their oil-related revenues.
Despite the higher proceeds, growing staff costs following the phase in of the N18, 000 monthly minimum wage, in tandem with rising energy costs will most likely offset this benefit. Therefore, in Fitch’s opinion, the extra resources are likely to be spent on growing operating costs, unlike the national governments’ share, which is ring-fenced for capital projects such as power and roads.
As higher revenues are not likely to translate into stronger budgetary performances, the agency said it expects the five Nigerian states it rates to continue to perform in line with its expectations.