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Breaking: FG Files Tax Evasion Charges Against Binance

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In a decisive move aimed at upholding fiscal responsibility and safeguarding the economic integrity of the country, the Federal Government has initiated criminal proceedings against Binance, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange platform.

 

The charges, filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, were announced on Monday by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

 

The lawsuit, designated as suit number FHC/ABJ/CR/115/2024, implicates Binance with a four-count tax evasion accusation.

 

Joined with the crypto company as second and third defendants in the suit are Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, both senior executives of Binance currently under the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

 

The charges levied against Binance include non-payment of Value-Added Tax (VAT), Company Income Tax, failure to file tax returns, and complicity in aiding customers to evade taxes through its platform.

 

In the suit, the Federal Government also accused Binance of failure to register with FIRS for tax purposes and contravening existing tax regulations within the country.

 

One of the counts in the lawsuit pertains to Binance’s alleged failure to collect and remit various categories of taxes to the federation as stipulated by Section 40 of the FIRS Establishment Act 2007 as amended.

 

Section 40 of the Act explicitly addresses the non-deduction and non-remittance of taxes, prescribing penalties and potential imprisonment for defaulting entities.

 

The charges further detail specific instances where Binance purportedly violated tax laws, such as failing to issue invoices for VAT purposes, thus obstructing the determination and payment of taxes by subscribers.

 

“Any company that transacts business in excess of N25 million annually is deemed by the Finance Act to be present in Nigeria.

 

“According to this rule, Binance falls into that category. So, it has to pay taxes like Company Income Tax (CIT) and also collect and pay Value Added Tax (VAT).

 

“But Binance did not do this properly. So, the company broke Nigerian laws and could be investigated and taken to court for this infraction,” Adekanmbi said.

 

The Federal Government remains resolute in its commitment to ensuring compliance with tax regulations and combating financial impropriety within the cryptocurrency sector.

 

FIRS, by the law setting it up and various others, is empowered to assess, collect and account for revenue accruing to the Federation and administer relevant tax laws.

 

Binance pleaded guilty to flouting anti-money laundering laws in the United States in late 2023, settling for a plea bargain that cost the company $4.3billion.

 

 

 

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Just In: FG Suspends Taxes On Importation Of Food Commodities For 180 Days

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The Nigerian government has declared a temporary suspension of duties, tariffs, and taxes on the importation of specific food items, including maize, husked brown rice, wheat, and cowpeas.

According to a statement released by Abubakar Kyari, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, on Monday, this measure is part of a comprehensive plan to address food inflation in Nigeria over the next 180 days.

This move aims to provide relief and mitigate the effects of food price increases in the country.

At a press briefing today, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, said the measures will be implemented over the next 180 days:

1. A 150-Day Duty-Free Import Window for Food Commodities

a. suspension of duties, tariffs and taxes for the importation of certain food commodities (through land and sea borders)

b. These commodities include Maize, Husked Brown Rice, Wheat and Cowpeas

c. Under this arrangement, imported food commodities will be subjected to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP).

(I am aware that some good citizens might be concerned about the quality of the would-be imported food commodities as it relates to the trending worries around the genetic composition of food.) I am glad to reiterate that the Government’s position exemplifies standards that would not compromise the safety of the various food items for consumption.

2. In addition to the importation by private sector, Federal Government will import 250,000MT of Wheat and 250,000MT of Maize. The imported food commodities in their semi processed state will target supplies to the small-scale processors and millers across the country.

3. Engage relevant stakeholders to set a Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP) and mop up surplus assorted food commodities to restock the National Strategic Food Reserve.

4. Continuous ramp-up production for the 2024/2025 farming cycle.

a. sustained support to smallholder farmers in the ongoing wet season farming through existing government initiatives.

b. strengthen and accelerate Dry Season Farming across the country.

c. embark on aggressive agricultural mechanization and development to reduce drudgery, drive down the cost of production and boost productivity.

d. collaborate with Sub-National to identify irrigable lands and increase land under cultivation.

e. work closely with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, to rehabilitate and maintain irrigation facilities under river basin authorities across the federation.

f. development of a strategic engagement for youth and women across the federation for immediate greenhouse cultivation of horticultural crops such as tomatoes and pepper to increase production volume, stabilize prices, and address food shortages.

g. fast-tracking ongoing engagements with the Nigerian Military to rapidly cultivate arable lands under the Defence Farms Scheme, while encouraging other Para-Military establishments to put secured available arable lands to cultivation.

5. The Renewed Hope National Livestock Transformation Implementation Committee will be inaugurated on Tuesday, 9th July 2024 with a view to developing and implementing policies that prioritize livestock development and ensure alignment with the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

6. Enhancement of Nutrition Security through:

a. the promotion of production of fortified food commodities and

b. offer necessary support to scale up the Home Garden Initiative by the Office of The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Over the next 14 days, in close collaboration with the Presidential Food Systems Coordinating Unit (PFSCU) and the Economic Management Team (EMT), we will convene with the respective Agencies to finalize the implementation frameworks.

We will ensure that information is publicly available to facilitate the participation of all relevant stakeholders across the country.

The PFSCU will manage a dashboard for Mr. President, providing him with direct visibility into these interventions and ensuring accountability.

The success of the measures aforementioned is contingent on cooperation and collaboration of all relevant MDAs and stakeholders.

As our nation confronts a critical food security challenge, let me reiterate Mr. President’s unwavering commitment to attaining food security and ensuring that no Nigerian goes to bed hungry.

To this end, I can assure all Nigerians, that my team and I, will swiftly and diligently actualize these crucial policies to ensure food security for everyone in the country in the immediate term as we also continue our strategies for long-term interventions to address the underlying causes and ensure sustainable and resilient food systems in the country.

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Just In: Tinubu Re-Elected ECOWAS Chairman

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President Bola Tinubu has been re-elected as the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS.

He was re-elected at the 65th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of States and Government at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Nigeria.

President Tinubu, who accepted his re-election, appointed the President of Senegal to join in the mediation with Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.

How ‘pregnant’ passenger stole my car, made me unconscious – 43-yr-old man narrates experience0:00 / 1:07

Meanwhile, Tinubu urged members states of the region to fulfil their financial commitments to the regional body to effectively tackle security challenges.

President Tinubu, who gave the charge at the 65th Ordinary Session of ECOWAS, said substantial financial resources are crucial to operationalize the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) and combat terrorism, banditry and violent extremism.

The Nigeria President, whose one-year tenure as Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority is expected to expire tomorrow, July 9, urged member states to honor their financial obligations to enable ECOWAS to meet the expectations and recommendations of its ministers of Defense and Finance.

He contended that fulfilling the commitments will help stabilize the region and counter insecurity, adding that by meeting their financial commitments, ECOWAS member states will demonstrate their dedication to regional security and cooperation, enabling the community to better address the security challenges facing West Africa.

According to him, “Let me underscore that a peaceful and secure society is essential for achieving our potentials, move to operationalise the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) in combating terrorism, I must emphasise that the success of this plan requires, not only strong political will, but also substantial financial resources.

“We must therefore ensure that we meet the expectations and recommendations set forth by our ministers of Defense and Finance in order to counter the insecurity and stabilise our region. Member states must make extra commitment on providing resources for stabilizing the region.

“To this end, I urge ECOWAS to leverage on the capability of the Nigeria National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC), which is widely acknowledge as one of the best on the continent.

“The Nigerian government has decided to declare the NCTC as a regional centre to enable all ECOWAS member states benefit from capacity building and other related opportunities it offers.

“Your excellencies, dear heads of state, I urge those of you with time to visit the centre before your departure and assess first-hand on the facilities and the capabilities of NCTC”, President Tinubu said.

President Tinubu also urged ECOWAS member states to unite and develop innovative approaches to unlock the region’s economic potential and promote prosperity.

He acknowledged the economic hurdles hindering progress and stressed the need for partnerships, investment, and infrastructure development.

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Dangote, Tony Elumelu Bag Fresh Appointment From President Tinubu

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President Bola Tinubu has inaugurated a Presidential Economic Coordinating Committee to turn around the economy in the shortest possible time.

Going forward, the Committee comprising key players in the private sector such as Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, Chairman of Heirs Holdings Tony Elumelu, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun among others are expected to inject over N2 trillion into the Nigerian economy to reflate it.

While inaugurating the Committee at the Presidential Villa Abuja on Thursday, Tinubu gave a directive of the injection of specific funds of N250bn for Health and Social Welfare, N500bn for Energy and Power among other bolster measures.

These measures may not be unconnected with the inflationary trend in the country, where Nigerians have had to complain severally.

More details later…

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