6 December 2017

Nigeria: Lasaco Assurance Clears Self From Alleged Four Year Tax Liability

LASACO Assurance Plc, has exonerated itself from the allegation of four years tax liability put at N278.5 million levelled against it by the Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS).

The company's Managing Director, Segun Balogun said at a recent media briefing that the FIRS officials, on November 27, stormed the Corporate Head Office of the company at 16, Acme Road, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos on a wrong claim that we owe tax.

He explained: "The said officials came without prior notice and sealed the office with a claim that we owe tax liability from 2012 to 2016 to the tune of N278.5million. And all our attempts to make them reason that we were not owing proved abortive even as we showed them evidences of full payments for the reconciled 2012 -2015 Taxes and payments on self-assessment basis for 2016."

Shedding more light on the matter, Balogun said: "We like to state for the understanding of the public that LASACO Assurance plc is not owing any tax liability. We have always been upright in discharging our tax responsibilities as can been seen from the evidences of payment.

"We are a very responsible and disciplined organisation that will not in any way default in its obligation to the government or other regulatory bodies.

"We dispute openly, the claims by the tax authority that we owe taxes from 2012 to 2016 and hereby present our evidences of payments till date."

He however commended the tax authority for retracing its action by unsealing LASACO Assurance's premises immediately they reconciled their account and found out the true position that the company was not owing and neither was it in the class of tax evaders.

PTAD to Commence Verification of Nitel, Mtel Retirees

The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, (PTAD) has said it will soon commence verification exercise for pensioners of Nigerian Telecommunications Limited and its mobile subsidiary, MTEL under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS). Also, the agency said it has paid another instalment of the 33 per cent pension arrears owed to the Nigerian police pensioners; civil service pensioners and parastatals pensioners.

PTAD said the proposed verification exercise will kick off from January 15th to 26th, 2018.

A statement by the Corporate Communications Manager of PTAD, Mr. Emma Okondo, said the exercise will take place across the six geo-political zones in select venues that will be announced in January 2018.

He said the verification exercise is pursuant to the payment of pension benefits to eligible retirees of the agencies after receiving approval from the Ministry of Finance that appropriate benefits be paid to retirees who are qualified.

"Pursuant to PTAD being assigned with the responsibility, the Directorate has been working with the Bureau of Public Enterprises to get the nominal roll as well as other required information on qualified pensioners of the defunct NITEL", he said.

He said to this effect, qualified retirees of the above agencies are required to come with originals and photocopies of their required documents including their computation sheets issued by their former employer while the Next-of-Kin (NOK) are also mandated to obtain a Letter of Administration from the High Courts of Justice for the deceased pensioner.

Okondo added: "Affidavit for loss of mandatory documents including Letter of retirement will not be accepted. No proxy will be allowed in the process, and security agencies will be stationed at the venues to check fraudsters who would be immediately prosecuted when apprehended."

He said the Directorate is ready to attend to the sick and deformed in their locations, and are therefore advised to send an application for mobile verification to include pensioners' contact details, photo copies of all documents as listed and certified Doctor's report for such services.

In a related development, (PTAD) said it has paid pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) another installment of the 33 per cent Pension arrears owed to them.

A statement released by the directorate noted that the categories of pensioners affected are Nigerian police pensioners; civil service pensioners and parastatals pensioners.

The statement further said: "All pensioners under the Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pensions Department had already been paid the 33 per cent arrears in full since August 2016."

According to the statement, the latest payment was made from the Service Wide Vote released by the Federal Ministry of Finance."

It noted that PTAD will settle the outstanding arrears of the 33 per cent increment as soon as additional releases are made.

PTAD said: "Until then, the directorate implores all its pensioners to be patient and continue to exercise vigilance against the activities of fraudsters and rabble-rousers. It advised the pensioners to remember that the payment of pension and other retirement benefits is free urging them to report any incident of extortion to the directorate or the security agencies. "Should you require further information do not hesitate to contact PTAD on the following toll free number: 0800 -22557823 or +234 (0)9 462 1700; +234 (0) 813 6048117", the statement added.

Nigeria

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