January 2022 / Focus Africa
Central Bank of Nigeria Digitalizes Import and Export in Nigeria
The Government of Nigeria has introduced the digitalized e-Evaluator and e-Invoicing system for taxpayers to use in the import and export sectors. Effective 1 February 2022, all import and export operations in Nigeria will require the submission of an electronic invoice authenticated by authorized dealer banks on the Nigeria single window portal – Trading Monitoring System (TRM).
The new e-invoicing system will query and stop all imported and exported goods with unit prices that are greater than 2.5% of the verified global checkmate prices from completing Form M or Form NXP.
The supplier/buyer is required to register for authentication and submit an e-invoice in a dedicated portal as specified by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by paying an annual subscription fee of USD 350.00
All individual invoices with a value of less than USD 10,000 (or its equivalent in another currency) except where suppliers have an annual cumulative invoicing value equal to or above USD 500,000 (or its equivalent in another currency) are exempted from the submission of e-invoices. All import and export transactions made for supplies to security agencies, diplomatic and consular missions, and international agencies dependent on the United Nations are exempt from submitting e-invoices. Donations made by foreign governments or international organizations to foundations, charities and recognized humanitarian organizations, and goods directly supplied by a foreign government are equally exempted.
The announcement to introduce the e-Evaluator and e-Invoicing system was made by the Trade and Exchange Department of the CBN on 21 January 2022 through Circular TED/FEM/ FPC/PUB/01/001.
Uganda Signs Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Information on Financial Accounts (CRS-MCAA)
Uganda Expands Social Security Coverage
The Ugandan government has enacted the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) (Amendment) Act 2021 (the Act) with the aim of increasing social security contribution coverage by making contributions to the NSSF mandatory for all workers in the formal sector and further allowing workers in both the formal and informal sector to make voluntary contributions to the NSSF.
Major highlights of the Act are as follows:
- it is mandatory for every eligible employee to register as a member and make contributions to the NSSF. The Act also obliges every employer, irrespective of the number of employees, to register with the NSSF as a contributing employer. According to the National Social Security Fund Act 1985 (NSSF Act), the employee's contribution amounts to 5% of his monthly wage while the employer's contribution amounts to 10% of the employee's monthly wage;
- repealing the provision allowing cancellation of registration of a member if in the 2 years immediately preceding their application, the member has employed less than the minimum number of employees required (i.e. 5 employees) for compulsory registration. Previously, employers were only eligible for compulsory registration and contribution if they employed 5 people. However, voluntary registration for employers that did not meet this threshold was acceptable;
- allowing mid-term access to benefits by members who have made contributions to the NSSF upon fulfillment of the following conditions:
- a member must have made voluntary contributions to the NSSF;
- a member must be 45 years and above and have made contributions for at least 10 years to the NSSF to be able to access up to 20% of their accrued benefits; or
- a member must be a person with disability, aged 40 years and above and have made contributions to the NSSF for 10 years to be able to access up to 50% of their accrued benefits.
- every worker can voluntarily save with the NSSF, over and above the mandatory 15% contributions. Any self-employed persons or any other person may also apply for membership and make voluntary contributions to the NSSF; and
- a person is entitled to payment of the full balance of his savings with the NSSF if he ceases to be a member of the NSSF, in case:
- they are employed in an organization that is exempted from NSSF; or
- they emigrate permanently from Uganda to a country with no reciprocal arrangement for NSSF savings.
The NSSF Act has not been amended since its enactment in 1985 but on 17 February 2021 the parliament passed the NSSF (Amendment) Bill 2021 which was assented to by the President on 2 January 2022. Earlier amendments were proposed in the NSSF Bill 2019 but were not approved due to specific clauses which caused controversial views from the public.