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BusinessDay 06 Mar 2018

BusinessDay 06 Mar

usinessday market monitor Bitcoin Everdon Bureau De Change Commodities Brent Oil US $64.32 Cocoa US $2,393.00 NSE Biggest Gainer Biggest Loser Seplat Mobil N760 8.56pc N175 -1.13pc 43,513.93 N4,032,587.86 Powered by +2.10pc $-N £-N €-N BUY SELL 360.00 363.00 495.00 504.00 435.00 445.00 FOREIGN EXCHANGE TREASURY BILLS Market Spot $/N 3M 6M I&E FX Window 360.10 -0.02 -0.02 CBN Official Rate 305.85 14.93 15.24 FMDQ Close 5 Years 0.01% 13.58% FGN BONDS 10 Years 0.00% 13.71% 20 Years -0.05% 13.29% NEWS YOU CAN TRUST I **TUESDAY 06 MARCH 2018 I VOL. 15, NO 04 I N300 @ g New Lagos Land Use charge sparks outrage over excessive billing May cause Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business ranking to slide SMEs hardest hit, rents set to soar LOLADE AKINMURELE There is outrage across many parts of Nigeria’s economic hub where invoices for the new Lagos state government property tax have been delivered with house own- ers and residents facing a four hundred to five hundred percent increase in the land use charge. Depending on whether residential or commercial, the new land use charges goes as high as 0.78 percent and is charged on a government determined market value of the asset with no recourse to independent valuation. BusinessDay investigation shows that the percentage rate charged on the high end U.K. property market (where Lagos state largely copied the tax from) comes to around 0.32 percent, where residents enjoy top notch government-provided infrastructure. An apartment worth two million pounds in the U.K. attracts some 60,000 pound annual land use charge. UK Property values (used to calculate the charges) Continues on page 4 Buhari to tour Yobe, Benue, Taraba after clashes, fall in popularity CHRIS AKOR Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will visit the state where 110 schoolgirls were abducted by suspected Islamist militants last month, his office said, as his security record comes under scrutiny less than a year before elections. The 75-year-old former military ruler will also tour other hotspots from Monday onwards, including Benue and Taraba State hit by bloody clashes between semi-nomadic herders and farmers, the presidency added. The former general, who came to power in 2015 vowing to crush Boko Haram’s jihadist insurgency, has not stated whether he will seek re-election in Feb. 2019. But a surge in violence has cast a shadow over his term. He has repeatedly declared the insurgents’ defeat for more than a year. That was undermined by mass the abduction in the town of Dapchi in Yobe state on Feb. 19 and an attack on Thursday that killed at least 11 people, including three aid workers in another part of the Inside Continues on page 38 Italian court delays $1.3bn bribery case against Shell, ENI P. 37 Taxman invades banks for data as deadline for amnesty approaches ... BVN, forex allocation, asset records, others major target IHEANYI NWACHUKWU Nigeria’s tax landscape has changed very fast and efforts at bringing taxable individuals into the tax net are gaining momentum. Currently, the taxman has gone wild using advanced data mining and analytics to aggregate taxpayers’ records from multiple sources with the sole aim of tracking tax evaders. Data from sources such as Bank Verification Number (BVN), customers foreign exchange (FX) application, land registry, company dividends, car registration, Corporate Affairs Commission, foreign property ownership, and so on are being gathered and compared with tax returns, BusinessDay learnt. Federal Government aims at raising at least $1 billion and bringing in 4 million new tax payers into the tax net through the ongoing tax amnesty –Voluntary Assets & Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS). As part of the implementation of VAIDS, many high net worth individuals (HNIs) and very important personalities (VIPs) have been receiving letters from Ministry of Finance and various State Boards of Internal Revenue Services on their tax status, requesting them to take advantage of VAIDS to regularize their tax status. Informed sources said the first set of letters were issued last year following a special data mining project (Project Lighthouse) carried out by Ministry of Finance in preparation for Investigation: In major Nigerian cities, soil, underground water vulnerable to lead contamination P. 18 aggressive tax chase upon expiration of VAIDS. It is barely 24 days to the end of the nine-month tax amnesty programme targeted at all tax defaulters to voluntarily declare their assets and income within and outside Nigeria. The Federal Government has restated its resolve not to extend the deadline. “We will close VAIDS at the expiration of the programme on March 31, 2018. Once closed, Continues on page 38

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