The one thing we might need to get used to quickly with this new administration is the endless billing. 

Last week, we discussed the newly introduced annual vehicle ownership verification fee, set at ₦1,000. For today, we’ll be looking into the recent partnership between the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Market Traders Association of Nigeria (MATAN) to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) from traders. 

On July 3, 2023, the FIRS announced the VAT Direct Initiative to facilitate collecting and remittance taxes from this informal sector using unified systems technology, and traders will also be given identity cards to track their turnover. Nigeria currently has one of the lowest tax collection rates in the world at 10.8%; according to MATAN, there are about 40 million traders across the country, and this tax collection would help improve our tax base. Traders will also benefit from this, as the FIRS plans to work with security agencies to stop the illegal collection of taxes in the markets by thugs and self-appointed tax collectors. 

Lagos thugs when they hear this

This is all part of President Bola “T-Baby” Tinubu’s plan to improve our revenue generation and fund more infrastructural and social projects. However, we all know that Nigeria is cursed with a corruption problem. So, once again, it looks like citizens struggling to make ends meet are being asked to make sacrifices with little to no assurance of tangible rewards. 

What else happened this week?

Diphtheria Outbreak in Abuja

On July 3, 2023, Sadiq Abdulrahman, the director of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Public Health Department, confirmed in a press briefing that the outbreak of diphtheria has already claimed the life of a four-year-old boy. 

Diphtheria is a deadly bacterial infection that affects the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. It can lead to breathing difficulties, health rhythm problems, heart, kidney, and nervous system damage, and death, especially in children. 

The recent outbreak in Abuja is said to have spread from Niger state, and so far, there have been eight reported cases. To combat the spread of this bacterial infection, residents are advised to take personal hygiene very seriously and to get vaccinated at any of the 400 vaccine outlets around the FCT. Also, the Public Health Department has started collaborating with states to prevent the further spread of this disease. 

Video of the week

Question of the week

With Elon Musk channelling his inner Lex Luthor, our days on Twitter might be numbered. Is it time for Nigeria’s tech space to create an alternative social media platform? 

Ehen one more thing…

The initial six months of 2023 are done and dusted. What should we expect as we step into the second half? Find out here

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