A new law has compelled all banks, insurance, informa-tion and communication technology companies to dedicate one percent of their profits before tax to the National Information Technology Development Fund (NITD Fund).

The money would be channel for the development of information technology in the country, the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, Professor Cleopas Officer Angaye has said.   Speaking at the Inauguration of the implementation Committee of the 2007 NITDA Act in Abuja, Angaye said the fund will be deducted out of the tax paid to the federal government by the companies.

He said it is not a new tax on the companies, "It is out of the share of the federal government". According to the new law "a one percent of the profit before tax of companies and enterprises enumerated in the Third Schedule to this Act with an annual turnover of N100,000,000 and above and such paid by the companies shall be tax deductible".

Angaye said the fund is necessary looking at the challenges in the sector, saying the new law would be at immense importance in moving the sector forward. He said IT initiatives are money demanding, therefore requires such fund to survive. He pointed out that government alone can not shoulder the responsibilities.

The new law said the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) shall assess and collect the levy imposed under section 12 of this Act. "The levy imposed under section 12 of this Act shall be due and payable within 60 days after the federal Inland Revenue Service has served notice of the assessment on a company in such form as the federal Inland Revenue Service may, from time to time, determine".

"Any company, agency or organization that fails within two months after a demand note, to pay the levy or the import duty imposed under section 11 of this Act commit an offence and is liable on conviction to fine of not less than 1,000,000 and Chief Executive officer of the agency or the organization shall be liable to be prosecuted and punished for the offence in like manner".

(SOURCE: Daily Trust)