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Why Nigeria Should Not Introduce New Tax Regime Now – IMF

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IMF New Tax Regime

Why Nigeria Should Not Introduce New Tax Regime Now – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised the federal government not to introduce new tax measures as it said Nigeria is in for a difficult year in 2020 with gross domestic product (GDP) growth expected to contract by -5.4 per cent.

Speaking at a press briefing on the Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa yesterday, director of the IMF’s African Department, Abebe Aemro Selassie, said while it will be very important to have very nimble policy response to ensure that the hits to the economy is not compounded by policy challenges, this is not the time to be aggressively introducing new tax measures.

“There is a long standing challenge on the fiscal side of needing to have sufficient resources generated by the government from non-oil sources to provide investments in health, education, infrastructure so there is that long-term agenda that needs to be addressed.

“Right now, fiscal policy can be supportive and needs to be supportive. On the monetary and exchange rate front, there is a response that will facilitate the much needed adjustment of the economy to these real shocks.

“Our projection of -5.4 per cent is contingent on an in-built policy response and avoiding some of the challenges that were experienced when oil prices declined in 2016 causing GDP to be depressed for an extended period.

“Subject to a flexible and nimble policy response, we expect that there would be some recovery but this year would be a difficult one for the country. Nigeria is an oil exporting country so the impact of the pandemic is being compounded by the sharp decline in oil prices.”

On the pandemic, Selassie said “this is a fast-moving crisis and recent developments suggest that the downturn will be significantly larger than we had anticipated only 10 weeks ago. The risks we highlighted in April all continue to be a concern, but the deterioration of the global outlook has been particularly striking. In line with this new outlook, and consistent with local high-frequency indicators, output in Sub-Saharan Africa is now projected to shrink by 3.2 percent this year, more than double the contraction we had outlined in April. Again, this is set to be the worst outcome on record.

“The growth rate of new cases has slowed slightly since April, and a number of countries have cautiously eased some of their containment measures. But region-wide, the pandemic is still in its exponential phase—Sub-Saharan Africa has recently exceeded more than a quarter of a million confirmed cases, and new cases are still doubling every two to three weeks.”

Selassie said given the region’s already-stretched healthcare capacity, the immediate priority is still to protect lives and to do whatever it takes to strengthen local health systems and contain the outbreak.

The IMF director noted: “On economic policies, sub-Saharan African countries have acted swiftly and aggressively to support the economy. Monetary and prudential policies have been eased, with countries adopting a mix of reduced policy rates, added injections of liquidity, greater exchange-rate flexibility, and a temporary relaxation of regulatory and prudential norms, depending on country circumstances.

“On the fiscal side, however, country responses have often been more constrained. Even before the crisis, debt levels were elevated for many countries in the region. In this context, and in light of collapsing tax revenues, the ability of governments to increase spending has been limited.

“To date, countries in the region have announced COVID-related fiscal packages averaging three per cent of GDP. This effort has been indispensable. But it has often come at the expense of other priorities, such as public investment, and is markedly less than the response seen in other emerging markets or advanced economies.

“Also, authorities in sub-Saharan Africa face a distinct challenge in getting support to those who need it most. Around 90 percent of non-agricultural employment is in the informal sector, where participants are usually not covered by the social safety net.

“Moreover, a large proportion of this activity centers on the provision of services, which have been particularly hard hit by the crisis. Further, informal workers typically have few savings and limited access to finance. So staying at home is often not an option; complicating the authorities’ efforts to maintain an effective lockdown.

“In response, many authorities have done what they can to temporarily expand their safety nets; using home-grown, often innovative approaches to ensure that transfers reach as much of their population as possible. But again, resources are limited, and these efforts cannot hope to offset the full impact of this crisis.

“In sum, many authorities in Sub-Saharan Africa face a particularly stark set of near-term policy choices; concerning not only the scale of support they can afford, but also the pace at which they can reopen their economies”.

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COVID-19

NCDC – 626 New Cases of Coronavirus Confirmed In Nigeria

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NCDC New Cases of Coronavirus

NCDC – 626 New Cases of Coronavirus Confirmed In Nigeria

Nigeria on Thursday, July 2, recorded 626 new cases of Coronavirus as confirmed in a tweet shared by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). 

 

A breakdown of the new cases across different states in the country is as follows; Lagos-193, FCT-85, Oyo-41, Edo-38, Kwara-34, Abia-31, Ogun-29, Ondo-28, Rivers-26, Osun-21, Akwa Ibom-18, Delta-18, Enugu-15, Kaduna-13, Plateau-11, Borno-8, Bauchi-7, Adamawa-5, Gombe-4, Sokoto-1.

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As at July 2, there are 27,110 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the country. 10,801 patients have been discharged and 616 deaths has been recorded.

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193 Almajiria Test Positive For COVID-19 In Kano State

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Kano State Almajiria Test Positive For COVID-19

193 Almajiria Test Positive For COVID-19 In Kano State

A total of 193 Almajiris in Kano State have so far tested positive to COVID 19, according to the Kano state government.

Speaking at the COVID-19 press briefing held, Thursday, July 2, Kano State Commissioner of Education, Sanusi Mohammed Kiru disclosed that a total of 1860 persons were quarantined in three locations in the state, out of which 193 of them tested positive.

 

Sanusi who is also the head of the state government’s committee on the rehabilitation of almajiris, explained that 86 of them tested positive at Gabasawa Quarantine camp, 68 tested positive in Karaye while 38 tested positive in Kiru.

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He expressed happiness at the initiative to isolate the almajiris in the state, adding that state efforts at tackling the dreaded disease would have been worse off if they were allowed to continue to spread the disease in these communities.

 

He recalled that so far the state has repatriated a total of 1183 Almajirs to the rest of the states in the region such as Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Gombe, Bauchi, Kebbi, and Zamfara States in line with the decision of the Northern Governors forum to end street begging in the region.

 

He further disclosed that the state government had established three almajiri boarding schools for the immediate admission of the Almajiris of Kano State orIgin, saying that these schools are located in Bunkure, Bagwai and Madobi Local Government Areas.

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President Buhari Suspends NSITF Boss, Others

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NSITF Boss Buhari

President Buhari Suspends NSITF Boss, Others

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate and indefinite suspension from Office of the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Mr Adebayo Somefun.

Sen Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, in a statement by Charles Akpan of the Press and Public Relations in the ministry, named other officers suspended to include Jasper Ikedi-Azuatalam, Executive Director (ED), Finance and Investment, and Mrs Olukemi Nelson, ED, Operations.

Also suspended are Alhaji Tijani Darazo Sulaiman, ED, Administration, Mr Olusegun Olumide-Bashorun, General Manager, Administration/Human Resources/Maintenance, and Mr Lawan Tahir, General Manager, Finance.

Others asked to go are Mr Chris Esedebe, General Manager, Claims and Compensation, Mr Olodotun Adegbite, Deputy General Manager, Investment and Treasury Management, and Mr Emmanuel Enyinnaya-Sike, Deputy General Manager, Finance and Accounts.

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The statement also named Mrs Olutoyin Arokoyo, Deputy General Manager/Acting Head, Legal, Ms. Dorathy Zajeme-Tukura, Deputy General Manager, Administration, and Mrs Victoria Ayantuga, Assistant General Manager, Internal Audit.

The minister said that their suspension from office arose from the “preliminarily established prima facie infractions on the extant Financial Regulations and Procurement Act, and other acts of gross misconduct”.

“During the period of their suspension, the officers will face a Joint Board and Audit Investigative Panel that had been set up to look into the financial and procurement breaches, as well as gross misconduct in the NSITF from 2016 to date.

“The gross misconduct has invariably put the contributions of stakeholders in a perilous state. The affected officers have also been directed to hand over to the most senior officers in their respective departments,” the statement said.

It quoted Ngige as specifically directing that Dr Kelly Nwagha, General Manager. Health, Safety and Environment Department, to assume the position of Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, being the most senior General Manager in the organisation.

It said that officers assuming the new positions would take charge from Monday, July 6, 2020, until further notice.

Ngige charged the Chairman of the Board, Mr Austin Enajemo Isire, to ensure that the investigative panel commenced work as soon as possible.

He also charged him to ensure that the Board facilitated the smooth running of the Fund by creating the enabling environment and all the necessary staff adjustments and movements, in order to guarantee that services by staff to the contributors were not affected.

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#COVID19NIGERIA Situation Report

http://news.ncbn.ng/2020/06/04/coronavirus-and-the-adversity-of-the-asymptomatic-bala-ibrahim/

@Africa CDC

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

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Gallant Officer
"Also found worthy of honour was Bashir Abubakar, an Asst Comptroller-General of Customs, who rejected a bribe of $412,000 per container offered him by drug traffickers seeking to bring 40 containers of Tramadol into Nigeria. A fine example of incorruptibility, worthy of emulation"

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