The Nigerian Breweries Plc has bagged the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service 2020 Highest Taxpayer, Pay-As-You-Earn Award despite the existence of Sharia Law in the state.
The Executive Chairman of KADIRS, Zaid Abubakar, reportedly described Nigerian Breweries at the agency’s 2020 Grand Dinner and Award Night, in Kaduna on Friday, as one of the “committed” taxpayers in the state.
Abubakar urged other corporate organisations to emulate Nigerian Breweries and other committed taxpayers in the state by paying the needed tax voluntarily and as and when due.
He was quoted as saying, “The essence of the award was to motivate taxpayers in the state to continue to pay their taxes voluntarily so that the state government will continue to deliver quality services to the people.”
Receiving the awards from the state’s finance commissioner, the company's manager in Kaduna, Abbay Ajayi, thanked KADIRS for recognising the efforts of the company in fulfilling its tax obligation and contributing to the development of the state.
According to him, the Nigerian Breweries has paid a total of N1.4 billion to Kaduna state government as PAYE and levies, among others between 2018 and 2020.
He said: “We have equally paid N315 million to Kaduna State Water Cooperation as water bills from 2016 to date.
“We have so far invested N45 billion in Kaduna state from inception to date and planned to invest N7.0 billion in the state in 2021 alone.
“Kaduna has been a home for all of us at the Nigerian Breweries since the 1960s and we are still thriving due to the conducive business environment that have made Kaduna more home than any other."
He reiterated Nigerian Breweries’ continued investment and support to the development agenda of the Kaduna state government and Nigeria.
A total of 23 taxpayers were honoured as part of efforts to encourage voluntary tax compliance and boost revenue generation for the development of the state.
Nigerian Breweries Plc engages in the brewing and marketing of Lager beer, Stout and non-alcoholic malt drinks. Its product range includes Star, Gulder, Legend Extra Stout, Maltina and Malta.
Kaduna is one of the Northern states that adopted Shari’a Law prohibiting the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages.
The state is also adjudged to be the political capital of Northern Nigeria.
There have been many instances of destruction of alcoholic beverages in states such as Bauchi and Jigawa where Shari’a Law is practised, especially in Kano where this has become the norm for the Islamic corps, Hisbah.
Many Nigerians have questioned why states who share from revenues accruing from sale of alcoholic beverages across the country hypocritically ban their consumption in their domain on religious grounds.
SaharaReporters recalled how officials of Hisbah in the state banned girls and ladies in Kuriga Village in the Chikun Local Government Area from using or possessing mobile phones and sunglasses.
A resident of the community alleged that the group had been "frustrating the lives of youths in Kuriga and often carrying out severe punishment for moral failings".
Although Governor Nasir El-Rufai in a tweet had said there was no Hisbah in the state, checks by SaharaReporters confirmed the presence of a Hisbah sub-committee in the state.
Several photos of the group's activities in Kaduna are also visible on its Facebook page.
“The name of the committee is known as SUPREME COUNCIL FOR SHARIAH IN NIGERIA KADUNA STATE CHAPTER (HISBAH SUB-COMMITTEE)
“Our logo is a scale, signifying justice and equity. Our motto: Enjoining virtues and forbidding vices,” a brief on the group's Facebook page reads.