Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State

Bayelsa grants tax reliefs to individuals, businesses as communities inaugurate N141.65m projects

*Extends deadline for filing Form A returns for employee, annual returns till September 30 for companies, institutions

*Amatu I, Amatu II, Biabiri I, Bilabiri II, Bisangbene benefit from projects funded by NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In advancing the ease of doing business and minimising the damaging effects of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the South-South state of Nigeria, the Bayelsa State Government has announced a tax relief of 50 percent for the informal sector and other tax reliefs to residents and business operators.

Dr. Nimibofa Ayawei, Executive Chairman, Bayelsa Board of Internal Revenue, in a statement in Yenagoa, the state capital, disclosed that the tax reliefs approved by Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State was to demonstrate sensitivity to the adverse impact of the pandemic on the citizens, according to News Agency of Nigeria.

Part of the concessions granted by the government is extension of the deadline for filing Form A returns for employee and annual returns, to September 30, for companies and institutions, said Dr. Ayawei.

The Executive Chairman of Bayelsa Board of Internal Revenue stated that the reliefs included waiver of penalty and interest until August 31, 2020, for outstanding Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) remittances.

Waiver of penalty for all outstanding tax issues up to December 2019 for which the undisputed amounts were paid within 30 days post interstate lockdown was also part of the reliefs.

The state revenue chief said that 50 percent discount on the personal income tax (PIT) assessment for the informal sector in the year 2020 as contained in the minimum harmonised tax rates in Bayelsa was part of the reliefs.

Meanwhile, the Dodo River Communities Development Association in Ekeremor LGA of Bayelsa has inaugurated projects worth over N141.65million, funded by NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture (JV).

Agency report indicates that the beneficiary communities are Amatu I, Amatu II, Biabiri I, Bilabiri II and Bisangbene.

The projects include Dodo River Secretariat in Yenagoa, building and furnishing of Bilabiri I Primary School, water treatment projects, concrete roads and twin-engine speed boats.

Other projects include communication systems, provision of plastic chairs and tables and canopies for the communities, among others, stated the report.

Mr. Okebia Keku, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mineral Resources, Bayelsa State, at the commissioning of Dodo House, a secretariat for the communities, applauded the association for the prudent use of the funds.

Keku stated that the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), the development template which the government was overseeing, has given communities greater participation in the selection and execution of development projects, noted the report.

Earlier, Mr. Berry Negerese, Chairman of the association, had explained that the projects were executed with funds provided between 2016 and 2019, adding that paucity of funds delayed the Dodo Secretariat building project.

The introduction of the GMoU approach by Chevron has enhanced the capacities of Niger Delta communities in development activities as they now handle projects funded by oil firms in a transparent manner, Mr. Negerese said.

Negerese appealed to Chevron and other development partners to assist the association with funds to furnish the secretariat to enable them put it to optimal use.

He urged the oil firm to extend community employment opportunities to Dodo River communities it its Agbami offshore oilfields.

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