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Abuja Update

FCT-IRS urges MDAs, employers to file annual returns before deadline

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The Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS) has urged ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, of government as well as other employers of labour in the territory to file their annual returns of income from all sources for the year ended December 31, 2023.

In a statement by the Head, Corporate Communications at the FCT-IRS, Mustapha Sumaila, the revenue agency urged employers to file the returns on or before January 31, 2024, or risk sanctions.

The agency noted that the demand is in compliance with Section 41 of the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) 2011 (as amended) which mandates all employers of labour in the FCT to file annual returns before January 31 of every year using the prescribed forms, Form G and Form H1 respectively.

“It is also clearly stated in Sections 94, 95 and 96 of PITA which stipulate penalties for non-filing, incorrect/false declaration and late submission and the Service would not hesitate to enforce the laws on the defaulters.

“Organisations that wish to file online may visit www.fctirs.gov.ng and click on create account or click on login for those who already have accounts, or you can proceed to any of the FCT-IRS offices to submit electronic copies of your returns.

“The forms are also available in the 15 offices including the Service’s headquarters for those who may want to file manually.

“Meanwhile, FCT-IRS enjoins employers of labour, organisations and agents to file their returns before the January 31 deadline otherwise the late filers and non-filers will be penalised in accordance with the law,” the statement read.

Abuja Update

Matters arising from new electricity tariff in Nigeria

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By Tolu Ogunlesi

Quite sad (but not surprising) that it’s the ‘freezer’ comment that totally dominated the headlines from yesterday’s Electricity press briefing. There was a lot more that was said, that’s useful to know, as background and basis for conversation and debate.

If you want to know what else HM Bayo Adelabu said, I took some notes – the comments below are attributable to him (and to the NERC Vice Chair, who also spoke).

[The important background to all this is that for now it’s ONLY Band A consumers who are affected by the 3-fold Tariff Increase rolled out this week. There are 5 Tariff Bands in all, A to E. Band A are the ones guaranteed a minimum of 20 hours of supply per day]

  1. Prior to tariff change, the Federal Government was subsidising 67 percent of the total cost of generating, transmitting, and distributing electricity in Nigeria.

Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission Vice Chair added: If you isolate Generation, that 67 percent figure rises considerably. For example, in January 2024, the total power generation invoice issued to DisCos was 240 Billion Naira, but the Discos were asked to pay only 24 Billion of this = 10 percent, which means 90 percent of the generation cost was being borne by FGN, as a subsidy.

  1. Total estimated electricity subsidy cost (on FGN) for 2024, without tariff adjustment: ~2.9 Trillion Naira (~240 Billion per month)
  2. Total estimated subsidy cost for 2024, after tariff adjustment: ~1.4 Trillion Naira (~113 Billion per month)
  3. The Tariff increase has also been accompanied by a reduction in the number of Band A “feeders” — i.e. feeders guaranteed to supply a minimum of 20 hours per day — across the country. There were previously over 1,000 Band A feeders; now, only 481 are classified as Band A.
  4. There are about 12 million electricity “customers” in Nigeria (please try and understand this carefully before jumping to make comments. It doesn’t mean 12 million ‘people’, it means 12m ‘meter-able’ consumption points, e.g households, businesses, etc).
  5. Band A accounts for = 15% of the 12 million electricity customers = approx 1.8m. The remaining >10m customers will continue to enjoy government subsidies on electricity consumption.

(Related to this, I’ve seen data elsewhere that suggests that 70 percent of the revenues collected in 2023 came from Band A – worth confirming that figure).

  1. Of the 12 million customers, only a little over 5 million are currently metered. Which means a metering gap of over 6 million.
  2. The subsidised pricing regime will continue in the short term, with a “transition plan” to attain full “cost-reflective” pricing over the next 3 years.
  3. The restricting of the Tariff increase to Band A is meant to serve as a “proof of concept”; i.e. kicking off with a Band that has the “capacity and willingness” to pay for 20 to 24 hours of daily supply.
  4. The pricing change will help address some of the liquidity issues in the industry; restore a “line of sight” for recovery of investment, and make it more “bankable.”
  5. There is a huge infrastructure deficit in the power sector; obsolete equipment at all levels (this is where the Minister cited the example of some equipment still carrying ECN branding; ECN has been defunct for more than 50 years now)—and vandalisation of everything from gas pipelines to grid towers etc.
  6. If DisCos supply less than 20 hours to Band A consumers, there must be sanctions and consequences. “We will not shy away from our responsibilities…”

(On this note, NERC Vice Chair added that under the old Power Sector Reform Act, the powers of NERC to sanction were limited, and fines for DisCos were outdated (he cited fines as low as N10,000 per day). But with the new Act signed by PBAT—see No. 15 below—NERC now has expanded regulatory and sanctions powers. Vice Chair cited example of 2018 when NERC suspended IBEDC Board, and Board went to Court and got the suspension set aside, vs 2024 when NERC was able to successfully dissolve the Board of KEDC).

  1. The new Tariff Regime for Band A means there’s now an incentive for DisCos to work to migrate other Bands to Band A, so that they can supply them Band A threshold, and charge Band A tariffs.
  2. Energy consumption management by consumers has to become a priority. This is where the ‘freezer’ example (that has gone viral) was cited. Yeah, def not the best example to use, as we’ve seen from the distracting fallout, but the larger point about more responsible usage stands.
  3. Minister mentioned ongoing efforts to improve electricity supply:

—The new Electricity Act signed by PBAT (which repealed the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005) has now fully decentralised the sector, and empowers subnational governments for regulation and licensing.

—Renewable energy investments, led by REA

—New power plants like recently-completed Zungeru Hydropower (700MW)

—Investments in new lines, new injection substations, new transformers

—Closing the metering gap.

—Communications and advocacy

  1. “The journey of a thousand miles stand with a single step, in the right direction. This one is in the right direction.” — Bayo Adelabu

Ogunlesi is a Policy Communication Expert and former Special Assistant on Digital Communication to President Buhari

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Abuja Update

Banks drive stock market performance with N147bn gain

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The Nigerian stock market witnessed a significant boost in performance on Friday, propelled by gains in tier-one banks such as Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), Access Corporation, Zenith Bank and FBN Holdings, among others.

Investors gained a total of N147 billion or 0.25 percent, leading the market capitalisation to rise from N59.021 trillion to close at N59.168 trillion.

The All-Share Index also saw an increase of 0.25 percent or 260 points, closing at 104,647.37 compared to the previous day’s figure of 104,387.47.

Consequently, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return rose to 39.95 percent.

Market breadth remained positive with 34 gainers and 14 losers recorded during the trading session.

Secured Electronic Technology Plc (NSLTECH) emerged as the top gainer, rising by 10 percent to close at 55 kobo per share.

Juli Pharma followed with a gain of 9.93 percent to close at N7.86 per share.

Other notable gainers include Daar Communications, which added 9.84 percent, The Initiative Plc (TIP) rose by 9.72 percent, and NEM Insurance grew by 9.66 percent.

However, Ikeja Hotel and PZ Cussons Nigeria led the losers’ table, each declining by 10 percent to close at N4.48 and N36 per share, respectively.

Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc declined by 9.84 percent, Sovereign Trust shed 6.38 percent, and International Energy Insurance dropped by 5.66 percent.

Analysis of market activities revealed a higher trade turnover compared to the previous session, with the value of transactions increasing by 53.32 percent.

A total of 505.19 million shares valued at N14.24 billion were exchanged in 9,574 deals, with Access Corporation leading in volume and GTCO leading in value.

Access Corporation traded 75.78 million shares valued at N1.82 billion, followed closely by FBN Holdings with 75.09 million shares worth N2.99 billion.

GTCO also sold 64.12 million shares valued at N3.12 billion, Zenith Bank transacted 47.66 million shares worth N1.92 billion, and Fidelity Bank traded 37.53 million shares worth N377.05 million.

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Abuja Update

UNDP, FG partnership needed to achieve inclusion, equity- Minister

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Minister of Women Affairs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye says the ministry’s partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other organisations are needed for an inclusive and equitable society.
Kennedy-Ohanenye said this during a high-level multisectoral meeting on women and girls programming in Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.
The event was organised by the UNDP in partnership with the UNWomen, at the request of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.
She said that the meeting was an opportunity to collaborate, inspire, and drive positive change for women and the girl-child in Nigeria.
She said: “Together, I am confident that we can generate innovative solutions and chart a course towards a more inclusive and equitable society.
“I am particularly pleased that this meeting will provide a platform for direct engagement between stakeholders and the Ministry.
“Your insights, expertise, and perspectives are invaluable as we work together to develop strategies and initiatives that will drive meaningful change in the lives of women and girls across Nigeria.’’
The minister explained that the meeting represented a crucial juncture in the ongoing efforts to advance the rights and opportunities of women and girls in the society.
She said: “Your presence underscores the collective commitment to addressing the challenges and barriers that hinder gender equality and women’s empowerment.
“Our meeting today is not merely a gathering of minds; it is a testament to the Renewed Hope Initiative commitment to catalyze positive change in the lives of women and girls across our nation.
“This is an opportunity for an in-depth understanding of the ministry’s work-plan, and will also allow the ministry to learn about the work and initiatives of partners in the various thematic areas covered by the ministry’s mandate’’.
Onyinye Ndubuisi, Gender and Human Rights Programme Lead, UNDP, stressed the need for the agency and the ministry to work collectively, seal partnerships and streamline projections towards a new beginning for women and girls.
Also, Dr Chukwuemeka Onyimadu, Lead Economic Empowerment, UN Women, expressed appreciation to the minister and stakeholders for the meeting, citing needs for progressive advancement in gender issues.
“We will deepen this collaborative agenda by working with the ministry and other stakeholders to get things done’’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting brought together donors, development partners, civil society organisations, and knowledge-based stakeholders to discuss issues relevant to the ministry’s mandate.
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