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FG PLANS 40% BUDGET ON INFRASTRUCTURE

FG PLANS 40% BUDGET ON INFRASTRUCTURE

FG PLANS 40% BUDGET ON INFRASTRUCTURE

PUAH OMOKHUALE
The federal government of Nigeria, (FG) has been urged to include a 40 per cent allocation in the 2018 budget as capital projects so as to boost development in the critical sectors of the economy.

This statement was included in the report presented by The Lead Director, CSJ, Mr. Eze Onyekpere, in Abuja on Monday.
He also called on the FG to allocate a 15 per cent of the annual budget to the health sector in order to reduce the high rate of medical tourism in Nigeria.

This was stated by the Centre for Social Justice and the United States Agency for International Development, in a report on the Health Sector Medium-Term Strategies for the 2018-2020 fiscal periods.

According to Mr. Onyekpere, there is a need to amend the National Health Insurance Scheme Act to make health insurance compulsory and universal, so as to help the government generate more funds in the health sector.

He added that while the improvement in the macro economic situation in Nigeria seems to be reducing, there is a need to increase the health’s investment to avoid worsening the national health and economic indices.

He also said in his voice “the current Nigeria’s health indices should be pillars of a robust investment plan in the MTSS, anchored on the macroeconomic standard f the country.

“The 15 percent of the total annual budget that should be allocated to the health sector should be in alliance with the Abuja Declaration of 2001. If the 15percent deal does not seem so possible, we could start with a minimum of 7.5 per cent allocation in 2018 and gradually increase by 1.5 percent until the 15 percent is attained in 2023.

“The bulk of the new resources should be allocated to the capital expenditure, so as to enhance access of equipment and health infrastructures. The plan is that nothing less than 40 percent of the allocation should go to capital expenditure in 2018 and highly increasing in subsequent years.

“Just as stipulated in the National Health Act, 2014; Not less than one percent of the consolidated revenue fund should be allocated to the Basic Care Provision Fund in the 2018 budget and beyond.   

“in generating more funding for the health sector, the National Health Insurance Scheme Act ought to be adjusted to make health insurance universally compulsory and also consider new sources for health insurance funding that will include two percent surcharge on all imports, a special tax on tobacco , alcohol and smaller tariffs on telecommunications services to be borne by the consumer”.

Mr. Onyekpere called on the government to help consider establishing a health bank to provide single-digit long term loans, in order to develop health institutions, infrastructure, research and human resources for the health sector.
He added, saying that while steps are been taken to establish the health bank, the government have to consider special ways of funding the health which should be established through administrative actions.

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CBN INCREASES FOREX MARKET BY $195M

CBN INCREASES FOREX MARKET BY $195M

CBN INCREASES FOREX MARKET BY $195M

PUAH OMOKHUALE

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Monday has boosted the FOREX market by issuing the sum of $195m to three segments of the market.

This was stated during an interview with the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, while responding to some media enquiries.

Mr. Okorafor stated that during this season, there are pressures on the market from those seeking forex for school fees and vacations, but the Bank has held on to its goal to ensure that there is a sustained liquidity in the market and that genuine requests for FOREX are met. This will help to improve liquidity and flexibility in the market.

According to Mr. Okorafor, the wholesale segment of the inter-bank Foreign Exchange market is auctioned $100m and also intervened in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisible segments, with the sum of $50 million and $45million respectively.

This report came through the last week’s intervention in which the retail secondary market intervention sales (SMIS) received the largest allocation of $264,192,252.95 and the authorized dealers in the wholesale window had the sum of $100,000,000.

It was also stated that last week, the CBN, in an attempt to enhance foreign exchange availability in the Nigerian Forex Market and tolerable challenges encountered by critical stakeholders. It was yet stated that payment for port charges to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other agencies by oil marketing companies would henceforth be accommodated by the Bank using Form ‘A’.

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FG REQUESTS 3% IGST FOR GOLD IMPORTATION

FG REQUESTS 3% IGST FOR GOLD IMPORTATION

FG REQUESTS 3% IGST FOR GOLD IMPORTATION

PUAH OMOKHUALE
The Federal government of Nigeria has said that the banks that imports gold and precious metals will start paying a 3 percentage fee to Goods and Services Tax (GST) which can be claimed as input tax credit.
In a bid to clarify issues on GST on gems and jewelry through Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) said banks did not pay any VAT on import of precious metals previously. They only settled customs duty.

It has also been said that the Import of gold attracts a 10 per cent basic customs duty, following the fact that a 12.5 per cent countervailing duty (CVD) was levied prior to GST.
However, in the GST, "3 per cent Integrated-GST is payable on all imports of precious metals in addition to the basic customs duty, as the IGST paid can be taken as input tax credit by the banks."
The CBEC also said that banks would be liable to pay IGST on such import duties and not any overseas supplier in which ownership is vested during movement of gold or silver.

 Following the statement of the FAQ, "Ownership is not the material for determining if an import has taken place or not. Banks, as registered entities, would be liable to pay IGST on such imports but not the overseas entities, because they are not affecting the import," she said.
The CBEC also added her statement on the levy of GST where the total value of a gold ornament is Rs 30,000, including Rs 2,000 as making charge. In her words, "GST is payable at the rate of 3 per cent of the total transaction value of jewellery, whether the making charge is shown separately or not".
It was also said that since GST subsumed CVD, hence the GST rate on gold at 3 per cent ought to be paid at the time of imports in the form of IGST with effect from July 1.

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