By NBF News

The Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Jonah Otunla, on Friday urged the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) to partner with government to boost tax collection.  The AGF made the appeal in Abuja, when a delegation of the Institute led by its President, Mr John Jegede paid him a courtesy visit.

.A statement signed by Mr Hassan Dodo, Head, Media Affairs, in the Office of the AGF, quoted Otunla as saying that tax was a significant way to boost the growth of  a nation's revenue.

'Tax contributes significantly in the economy of the nation and should be accorded the necessary support. It is only in Nigeria that people are nonchalant in paying their taxes. ' He assured the Institute of that the Office of the AGF would always support their programmes.  Jegede had solicited the support of the AGF to carry out its programmes.

'It could come in the form of encouraging AGF staff to attend the institute's activities, workshops and seminars. '

Fitch revises  Lagos State outlook to stable Fitch Ratings has revised Lagos State's (Lagos) Long-term foreign currency rating Outlook to Stable from Negative.

It has also simultaneously affirmed Lagos's Long-term foreign and local currency ratings at 'BB-', Short-term foreign currency rating at 'B', National rating at 'AA(nga)' with Stable Outlooks, as well as the Long-term ratings of 'BB-' and 'AA(nga)' of the NGN50bn and NGN57.5bn bonds, maturing in 2014 and 2017 respectively.

The Outlook revision on the foreign currency rating follows the revision of Nigeria's Outlook to Stable from Negative on 21 October 2011 (see 'Fitch Revises Nigeria's Outlook to Stable; Affirms 'BB-', available at

According to Fitch's criteria, the Sovereign local and foreign Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) usually caps Subnationals' ratings. Based on this criterion, in October 2010, Lagos' Outlook was changed to Negative when the sovereign Outlook was revised to Negative from Stable.

With a per capita GDP of about NGN400,000 (USD3,000), roughly one third above the national average, Lagos is Nigeria's economic powerhouse and among the wealthiest states in the Federation. The state has an official population of about nine million (estimated 18 million) inhabitants and an unemployment rate close to 20%.

Nigeria spends $175 million on 'ghost' pensioners
Nigeria said it had been losing N28 billion annually on pensions for non-existent government 'ghost workers', a further sign of the impact corruption has on the economy. Finance Minister and Coordinator of the Economy Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has pledged to reduce the level of recurrent expenditure in next year's budget and tackle 'leakages'.

Nigeria spends over 70 per cent of its crude oil earnings on keeping government running, leaving little for much-needed infrastructure and services. Ibrahim Sali, who heads the Service of the Federation - the government administration - said that the ghost pension payments had now been stopped. 'With the weeding out of 71,135 ghost pensioners, the federal government will make an annual saving of about N28 billion,' he told the national assembly.