The Federal Inland Revenue Service has disclosed that it realized a total of N2, 529,615,174,601.25 (Two trillion, five hundred and twenty-nine billion, six hundred and fifteen million, one hundred and seventy-four thousand, six hundred and one naira, twenty-five kobo) from various taxes from January to June 2018.

The amount shows that the Service had realized 75% of its total target for the year, which is an improvement over what was realized at the corresponding period in 2017.

A report on the revenue performance by the Agency, submitted to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, confirmed that the N2,529,615,174,601.25 has an increase of N746,107,323,247.26, representing 42%, when compared to the N1,783,507,851,353.99 total tax revenue realized in the corresponding period in 2017.

An analysis of the total amount shows that N1,168,627,365,306.67 was collected as Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) as against N636,170,585,753.57, resulting in a variance of N532,456,779,553.10.

From the Company Income Tax (CIT), the FIRS realized a total of N680,093,730,362.25, which was N128,151,996,465.68 more than the N551,941,733,896.57 in the previous year.

The Value Added Tax (VAT) yielded a total of N536,525,540,228.39 in the period under review, which was N68,841,756,240.06 more than the N467,683,783,988.33 realized in 2017.

The Education Tax brought in N77,191,051,329.11 compared to the N58,868,372,910.79 in 2017, showing an increase of N18,322,678,418.32

The revenue from Stamp Duties was N7,492,592,658.35, which was N2,346,472,953.70 higher than what was realized in 2017 from Stamp Duties which was a total of N5,146,119,704.65.

The FIRS said it realized N1,006,543,151.07 from capital Gains Tax , an analysis of which shows that the amount was N64,916,270.95 more than the N 941,626,880.12 in 2017.

From NITDEF, a total of N9,249,618,573.91 was realized, resulting in an increase of N736,357,883.29 when compared to the total of N8,513,260,690.62 in 2017.

The Consolidated Tax Revenue for January to June 2018 was 49,428,732,991.50; an amount that was higher than the N54,242,367,529.34 by a total of N4,813,634,537.84.

With continuous revenue generation strategies, the FIRS expressed optimism that its effort will have a significant outcome, particularly in increasing revenue for 2018.

AMCON Takes Over Sigma Apartments, Abuja Over ₦1billion Debt
From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos

Hon. Justice B.F.M. Nyako of the Federal High Court Abuja Division has granted an order for Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to take over Sigma Apartments owned by Sigma Engineering & Construction Limited. Sigma Apartment is promoted by Saidu Samaila Balarabe Sambawa, a former Minister of Sports and Social Development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The order came on the application of AMCON after the Corporation exhausted all avenues of peaceful resolution with the obligor regarding the huge debt, but was left with no other choice.

Information on the website Sigma Apartments described the apartment as an epitome of refined living featuring 48 fully furnished service luxury apartments designed for those accustomed to the finer things in life. The apartment is conveniently located in the heart of Abuja metropolis midway between the northern and southern retail hub of the vibrant Abuja, downtown of Wuse ll. The site further describes it as a hospitality brand that provides extended stay accommodation for sojourners in Abuja.

The promoter of Sigma Apartments and his directors have had running battles with AMCON over their inability to settle the huge debt of over N1billion. But despite the overtures and genuine efforts made by AMCON to reach an amicable settlement terms, the businessman and his co-promoters have remained recalcitrant, thus pushing AMCON to seek legal solution to the issue. Accordingly the Corporation appointed Mr. Babatunde Alabi as the Receiver Manager to take immediate possession of the expansive property situate at Plot No.1376, Cadastral Zone, A07, Wuse 11, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

In compliance with the court order, and with the support of the Inspector General of Police, and his deputies as well as the court Bailiffs, AMCON through its Receiver, Mr. Babatunde Alabi took possession of the assets of Sigma Apartments, its right and in compliance with lawful authority.

AMCON under Ahmed Kuru, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer has maintained that there will be no sacred cows in its bid to recover the huge debts obligation of N4.8trillion in the hands of a few Nigerians. To deal with the situation however, AMCON has in recent times increased the tempo of its recovery activities using firmer resolution strategies as well as utilizing the special enforcement powers vested by the AMCON Act to compel some of its recalcitrant debtors especially those that are politically exposed and business heavyweights to repay their debts.

AMCON therefore seeks the continued support of all well-meaning Nigerians most especially the judiciary, the legislature and the security agencies to enable it carry out its mandate to avoid the tax payer from taking the liability of a few. Presently, only 350 Nigerians owe AMCON (indirectly the tax payer) over N4trillion.

Access Bank Emerges three time Consecutive Winner of Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Award

From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos
Access Bank Plc. has again received top honours at the 2018 Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards in Germany, emerging as the winner across 2 categories. This recognition comes barely 24 hours after the Bank bagged the Euromoney Awards for Excellence as “Africa’s Best Bank for Corporate Social Responsibility” in London.

The awards ceremony held on July 12, 2018 at the City Hall of Karlsruhe, Germany’s most sustainable city. Access Bank received the Karlsruhe award for “Outstanding Business Sustainability Achievement” in recognition of the Bank’s impressive success in holistically embedding sustainability across all aspects of operations. This marks the third consecutive win for Access Bank, and further reinforces the institution’s status as an industry pioneer in sustainable development.

Access Bank Group Managing Director/CEO, Herbert Wigwe was also honoured for his remarkable leadership and commitment to sustainable development with the “Sustainable Leader of the Year for Africa” award. The award was presented in recognition of Wigwe’s exceptional leadership in driving business transformation through incorporating social, environmental and economic values in the Bank’s operations.

“We are honoured to receive this level of recognition,” Wigwe said. “At Access Bank, sustainability is a part of our DNA and we promise to continue to be the face of social, economic and environmental developments that facilitates an inclusive and vibrant economy, business transformations and increase our shareholders value for tomorrow”

In attendance at the awards ceremony were CEOs of leading global financial institutions, senior executives, top German government officials, policy makers,regulators and key sustainability stakeholders.

Access Bank began its sustainability journey in 2008 and has led various initiatives in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. In 2012, the Bank championed the implementation of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles, which have now been adopted nationwide. The Bank was also the first indigenous Nigerian Bank to join 25 leading global banks to develop the Global Sustainability Banking Principles that set out to align the sector with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

The Bank is committed to setting standards across the Nigerian financial sectors by pioneering sustainable initiatives such as, the launch of waste recycling in the financial sector, launch of the Nigeria Green Bonds Market Development Programme in partnership with FMDQ and Climate Bonds Initiative, Malaria to Zero Initiative to galvanize the private sector efforts towards addressing malaria cases in Nigeriaamongst others.

SEC Dedicated to robust Market – Uduk
From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos

The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC has restated its dedication to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to further develop and deepen the capital market.

The Ag. Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Ms Mary Uduk stated this when members of the association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) met with Management of the SEC in Abuja, weekend.

Uduk noted that a well-functioning capital market was essential to Nigeria’s economic development, and to realise its full potential, the country must have a world class capital market that is strong, sustainable, effective, and plays a central role in economic development.

According to her, the SEC is open to suggestions and actions that would make the Capital Market vibrant but however added that such collaborative efforts would be with associations and persons that are fit and proper to operate in the market.

She said the SEC is willing to collaborate with the association to lift the market and re-position it among leading capital markets that meet international standards and best practices.

Uduk commended members of the group on their efforts so far in deepening the market especially for their support towards the financial literacy campaign of the SEC and assured them of the readiness of the SEC to continue to work with them.

“It’s good that we work together to take our capital market to the height we want it to attain. We are ready to engage with you to give us clarity on several issues relating to the market.

“We are open to discussions that will benefit the market, the market is the most important in all our engagements.

Speaking earlier, Chairman of ASHON, Chief Onyewechukwu Ezeagu pledged the commitment of the group to the growth of the capital market adding that whatever is done to make the MArket work is of concern to the association.

“We have always worked with SEC and will continue to do so and accord you all the co-operation you require to succeed” Ezeagu said.

On financial literacy, the ASHON Chairman said the group will continue to collaborate in every way possible to reach financial illiterates in the country.