FG to deduct money from states over double taxation

THE Federal Government is set to sanction states engaging in double taxation in the country, as the Federal Executive  Council (FEC) has asked the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, to deduct money from source from those states.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, after the FEC meeting held on  Wednesday. Mohammed said the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Adegbite Olamilekan, told the council that insecurity had hampered the sector while investors are leaving the country because of double taxation.

The information minister said: “The Honorable Minister of Mines and Steel Development presented a memo today which largely was to ask for council’s approval to address the major challenges the mining industry in facing. Among the challenges the industry is facing according to the Minister is that of insecurity in certain parts of the country.

“Notably, in the North-Western part of the country, mining has been suspended because of the activities of bandits and kidnappers. The industry is also faced with the problem of collision between some stakeholders, sometimes the traditional rulers.

“Also, the minister explained that the issue of double taxation is actually driving a lot of investors out of the country. “He also reported certain decisions of past government in the area of storage of explosives that are used for mining.  Before now, the position is that any miner that wants to use explosives for mining must store them in either the military barracks or police facilities.

“So, he asked for special dispensation to build special facilities at least one in each of the geo-political zones of the country. He also complained about extortion, the position of the community development agreement, and the issue of many illegal miners. “But at the end of the day, what the council approved for him and which we believe will be far-reaching and really reposition the industry is that: the council noted that insecurity and illegal mining had led to a huge loss of money.

“But the council directed that the National Security Adviser (NSA) should set up a special unit domiciled in the Federal  Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, and coordinated by the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) to carry out targeted operations at identified and confirmed illegal mining sites nationwide.

“The council also directed the Office of National Security Adviser to facilitate the erection of central magazines (special storage facilities) across the geo-political zones of the country for mining purposes as storage of explosives in military barracks in some parts of the country is grossly unsafe and the establishment of Control and Command Centre for remote monitoring of such explosives.

“The council also directed the Minister of Interior and the Nigerian Content Development Board to work closely with the Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development. “On the issue of double taxation, whereby mining companies are taxed by local and state governments. Two decisions were taken. One is that the council directed the  Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning to deduct directly from federal accounts allocations of states which have deprived federal government of Nigeria’s revenue due to it by the position of illegal taxes and levies on mining companies in their States.

“In other words, if a particular state engages in double taxation, you are imposing illegal taxes a duly registered mining company, and it is reported to government, the Ministry of Finance will deduct that money your allocation. “The intent is to ensure that we don’t scare away investors, they be local or foreign.

This will go a long way to reassure the investors that Nigeria is a safe place to invest now.

 

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