Akwa Ibom state has moved from 16th position on the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) rating table in 2015 to number six (6) on the table in 2019, going by the latest rating released by the Joint Tax Board (JTB).
The state’s IGR reached an all-time high of N24.8billion within eight months, January to August 2019. This amount represents 57.05 per cent of the projected IGR (N43.6billion) for the 2019 business year.
The governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel gave the figure in the performance review of the 2019 budget while presenting highlights of the 2020 budget to the Akwa Ibom state house of assembly.
“As at August 2019, the actual recurrent revenue collected was N190.66 billion… a breakdown of this shows that Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) was N24.875 billion.”
The IGR for 2019 is more than the sum of the state’s IGR realised in 2016 and 2017 and N5.7 billion higher than the N19.04 billion generated between January and September 2018.
The state generated N11.3billion between January and September 2016 and N10.4billion within the same period in 2017.
The state’s IGR started picking up in 2015 when Mr Udom Emmanuel took over as governor.
The Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service (AKIRS) under the Emmanuel administration’s, led by Mr Okon Okon, has aggressively pursued tax recovery from organisations that evaded taxes in the last 10 ten years.
The recovery must have accounted for the improvement in the state’s IGR.
There have been major reforms in tax administration in the state since the Udom Emmanuel administration came on board in 2015.
Some of the reforms include the signing of the Akwa Ibom state revenue administration bill 2016 which grants autonomy to the AKIRS, automation of tax collection process, and approval of 2.5 per cent incentive to all revenue-generating agencies of the state.
Mr Leo Umana, Executive Director Tax Recovery and Enforcement said strategic reforms introduced by the AKIRS have improved tax administration in the state and this account for the significant improvement in the IGR.
“The successes we have been so far being because all of us have worked together as a family. And, of course, we must give credit to Governor Udom Emmanuel for signing the Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service Administration Law that grants autonomy to the board. That has been the beginning of the turning point.”
Akwa Ibom state was trudging towards the lower rung on the tax table before 2015 due to leakages, corruption and lack of commitment by the state government’s revenue officers.
It was learnt that under the previous administration, many organisations in the state including government-owned investments were not remitting relevant taxes especially PAYE to the government and there was no commitment on the part of the government to explore new tax options, enforce or recover taxes withheld by organisations.
“When we came on board we discovered that there were a lot of leakages especially in the road taxes, so we introduced automation and that has really helped”, Umana noted.
Our correspondent learnt that the automation of the tax collection process has blocked leakages in road taxes accruing to the state.
When the current board came in it used to generate between N6 – N8million monthly from the road taxes, but that rose to N18millon in the month it introduced automation.
Now the board generates between N28 – N32million monthly.
Akwa Ibom State is currently ranked the sixth on the IGR performance rating in 2019 according to data obtained from the Joint Tax Board and National Bureau of Statistics.
Lagos, Rivers, Ogun, Delta and Kaduna are the first top-five on the table.
Akwa Ibom used to stand behind Kano, Cross River, Edo, Bayelsa, Ondo and Osun states on the IGR performance rating.
There has been noticeable coordination in tax collection, transparency and ease in payment of tax, and an unprecedented level of tax enforcement under the new Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service (AKIRS) board led by Mr Okon Okon.
About 80,000 people have been brought under the state’s tax net within the last two years.
“When we were sworn-in, the people we met on ground in the tax net were not up to 15,000. But now the number of people on the tax net is above 100,000”, Umana said.
AKIRS has been on aggressive tax enforcement in the state in the last few months.
Umana said the AKIRS under the chairmanship of Mr Okon Okon has pursued vigorously the recovery of taxes from defaulting organisations.
“The law allows us to investigate organisations for about ten years in past. So we did that and made a lot of recovery from financial institutions that are operating in the state.”
The steady growth of the state’s IGR under the current AKIRS board is giving the state government more confidence to target a higher IGR in 2020.
The state is projecting N52.556 billion IGR in 2020. This is about N556 million higher than the projected statutory allocation for the year 2020
Test Result of Indian with Coronavirus symptoms at Dangote refinery out
Earlier in the day a media report stating how an Indian contractor, Mr. Akhil Kunyil with Coronavirus symptoms was identified at Dangote Refinery in Lagos.
In reaction, Tony Chiejina spokesman for Dangote Group had confirmed the news but maintained that the Indian was not an employee of Dangote Group.
According to Chiejina, “the said individual that was coughing and running a high temperature was spotted during a routine medical check at the refinery”, He also added that the case had not been confirmed.
In a recent development while speaking exclusively to www.e-nigeriang.com via a telephone conversation a few minutes ago media personnel of Dangote Group said the results of the tests conducted on the Indian contractor by officials of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control is out and he tested negative to Coronavirus.
Dangote group remains a strong ally in the fight against Coronavirus (Covid-19). The group donated N200m to the fight against the epidemic.
Zenith Bank Rewards Shareholders, Declares Dividend Payout Of N87.9bn
Zenith Bank Plc, on Monday, March 16, 2020 at its 29th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja, declared that it paid out a whopping N87.9 billion in dividends to its shareholders, www.e-nigeriang.com can now report.
During the AGM, the Bank’s shareholders unanimously approved the proposed final dividend of N2.50 per share, bringing the total dividend payment for the 2019 financial year to N2.80 per share with a total value of N87.9 billion. This followed the recent release of the Bank’s audited financial results for the 2019 financial year.
Chairman of the Board of Zenith bank, Mr. Jim Ovia (CON) said the AGM was an opportunity for the bank to engage shareholders on its 2019 financial year performance. In his statement, Mr. Jim Ovia said “Zenith Bank is committed to consistently deliver superior returns to our highly esteemed shareholders by ensuring that a good chunk of our profit is set aside for you. In a clear demonstration of this, we had declared and paid you an interim dividend of 30kobo per share in the course of the 2019 financial year. We hereby propose a final dividend of N2.50kobo per share. If approved, this will bring the total dividend for the year ended December 31, 2019, to N2.80kobo per share”.
Zenith Bank reaffirmed its leading position in the Nigerian banking industry posting an impressive Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N243bn, representing a 5 per cent increase over the N231.6bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2018. Profit after Tax (PAT) stood at N208.8bn over N193bn, an increase of 8 per cent, thus making Zenith Bank the first Nigerian bank to cross the 200billion Naira mark.
The bank’s result showed an increase in gross earnings from N662bn to N630bn, indicating dominance in market share, while its assets grew by 5 per cent from the N5.9 trillion to N6.3 trillion, a growth driven by the 29% increase in non-interest income from N179.9 billion in 2018 to N231.1 billion in 2019. The Bank’s fees on electronic products continue to grow significantly with a 108% Year-on-Year (YoY) from N20.4 billion in 2018 to N42.5 billion in 2019.
The drive for cheaper retail deposits coupled with the low-interest yield environment helped reduce the cost of funding from 3.1% to 3.0%. However, this also affected net interest margin, which reduced from 8.9% to 8.2% in the current year due to re-pricing of interest-bearing assets. Although returns on equity and assets held steady YoY at 23.8% and 3.4% respectively, the Group still delivered an improved Earnings per Share (EPS) which grew 8% from N6.15 to N6.65 in the current year.
The Group created new viable risk assets as gross loans grew by 22% from N2.016 trillion to N2.462 trillion. This was executed prudently at a low cost of risk of 1.1% and a significant reduction in the non-performing loan ratio from 4.98% to 4.30%. Prudential ratios such as liquidity and capital adequacy ratios also remained above regulatory thresholds at 57.3% and 22.0% respectively.
Caterpillar Excavates 3 Year-old girl from Abule Ado Explosion scene…
Over 50 houses were razed down, millions of naira gone down the drain at the explosion site in Abule Ado yesterday, Sunday, March 15, 2020. The wailing continued again after more than 20 persons were reported dead including a school Principal, a newly wedded couple and a Reverend Sister; the list is almost endless.
Amidst all the shocking news comes news of a 3 year old survivor dug out by caterpillar on the scene and she was unhurt.
3 Year-old Favour was rescued by Emergency officials after several hours of rescue operation.
Favour had since been handed over the Nigerian Red Cross Society who is giving her the needed care and support.
Chairman, Nigeria Red Cross Society (NRCS) Lagos branch, Adebola Kolawole while explaining on Monday how Favour was rescued said she was found amidst the rubbles during rescue operations on Sunday night.
According to Adebowale, Favour’s mother had sustained serious head injury from the accident and has been in coma ever since and her brother too.
She further stated that Favour’s mother upon regaining initial consciousness immediately gestured to rescue officials that Favour was her daughter.
Little Favour was actually favoured by God because her survival remains a miracle as described by many on the scene.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government had announced a N2billion special intervention fund and an additional N250 million for victims of the unfortunate Abule Ado incident. Our Thoughts and prayers are with them.
Woman Arrested for Controversial Miracle Exposes Pastor Chris Okafor’s Fake Miracles
Bose Olasunkanmi, the woman allegedly used for fake miracles by some pastors in viral videos, shares her story with Afeez Hanafi
Where are you from?
I hail from Ilesa, Osun State.
How old are you?
I am 44 years old.
What religion do you practise?
I am a Muslim.
What is your educational background?
I attended Nawarudeen Primary School. I finished primary school in 1988 and came to Lagos in 1989. I lived with my mother before she died in 1990.
When did you start faking miracles for churches?
After my mother’s death, I started working with a food vendor. I worked there for nine years. In 1999, I had an accident and my leg and right hand were affected. The food vendor I was working with could no longer engage me because of the injuries. I then went to my sister’s place in Igando and I stayed with her from 2000 to 2003 when I met my husband. He married me with the injuries. We had three children together and he died on October 3, 2017. There was nothing for me again. No helper and no house for me to stay. I relocated with my children to my sister’s shop where we were living.
It was at the shop I met a girl called Fatila Musa. I begged her for money and she gave me N1, 000. She saw my hand and said if she took me to some churches I would make some money. She left and returned in September 2018. She then took me to a church in Ogba, Lagos.
What is the name of the church?
The church is Radiant Army Deliverance Ministry; I know the pastor as Tony Anthony.
How did you get to be used for fake miracle when you met him?
Before Fatila took me there, she taught me how I would act when we got to the church. We did the rehearsal at home. She taught me how to first hang my hand.
We went to the church at night. I sat when I got to the church and the pastor came. He took me to the altar. He asked me if I believe my hand could heal and I said yes. Meanwhile, the girl had already sent my picture to him and he already knew what he wanted to do.
He put a towel on my hand and prayed. He put oil on the towel to rob my hand. Immediately he removed the towel, I started putting down my hand gradually (she demonstrated). Fatila gave me N9, 000 when we left the church. Three days after, I returned to Pastor Tony Anthony’s church on Sunday. The pastor asked me to come out and he told the congregants that he helped me with N1m. But he didn’t give me anything. If he had given me N1m that day, I would not have gone to any other church again.
All the pastors were already aware of the whole thing and she was the coordinator. We would do rehearsals and she would send videos to the pastors. I would bring down the hand as they started praying for me. They knew everything was arranged because the girl had told them already.
Where else did you do the fake miracle?
I didn’t see the girl again until August 2019. I followed her to Port Harcourt (Rivers State). She took me to two churches. One of the pastors did his own (fake miracle) at a market. She also took me to a church in Abakaliki (Ebonyi State). In October 2019, she took me to the Mountain of Liberation and Miracle Ministry at Ojodu-Berger which is the last church I went to. The name of the Pastor is Chris Okafor.
As I sat in the church, the pastor called my name and I went out. I have never seen him before but Fatila had already given him all the details. She gave me N10, 000 after we left the church, Fatila called me and said one brother Henry from the church would give me N400, 000. She later sent Henry’s mobile to me and I called him. Henry asked me to send him my account number and I did. After some days, he sent N400, 000 into my account.
Why did Henry send the money to you?
He said I should not be involved in fake miracles again. He told me that the money should be used to rent a shop and an apartment. I used the money to rent a shop in Igando where police arrested me.
In your encounter with Pastor Okafor, he said your hand paralysed after you fell from the bed whereas you claimed you had an accident. Who is telling the truth?
I don’t know how the pastor came up with all he was saying about me when I was in his church. Maybe it was the Fatila that told him to say all those things.
Why didn’t you refute his claim?
What am I going to say? It is yes I would say. Why will I say no inside the church? I cannot say no because the girl (Fatila) has arranged everything.
After the service did you meet Pastor Okafor one-on-one?
No. There was no meeting. I left after the service. I didn’t discuss with the pastor; it is the girl I knew.
How much did you make from Port Harcourt and Abakaliki ‘miracle’ crusades?
The pastor in one of the two churches Fatila took me to in Port Harcourt is called Pastor Godswill Abbey. I got N11, 000 in his church. I can’t remember the name of the second pastor. Fatila gave me N7, 000 after ‘the miracle’ at the market. I got N9, 000 at Abakaliki.
Did you regret your action?
Yes, I did.
If I knew they would put my videos on the social media, I would not do it (the fake miracle). It is poverty that pushed me into it. When my husband died, I could not use my hands to do anything. I am a widow; there was no helper for me. If I knew it would lead to this, I would not have followed the girl (burst into tears).
My father has a stroke and my mother is dead. I lost one of my children and the remaining two live with my sister.
When your children heard about your plight, how did they feel?
Did they know you were going to churches to fake miracles?
They didn’t know.
Can you recount all you said before Pastor Okafor and others who performed ‘miracles’ on you?
Yes. In fact, I am ready to take the police to all the churches because I am tired. All the pastors should be arrested. I can confront them with everything I just said. They cannot deny that they don’t know me. I know I have made a mistake doing this, but I am tired. I regret doing what I did.
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