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Nigeria’s Finance Act of 2020 and 2021 are apt for SME growth – Olufon

TOYIN OLUFON is the principal consultant of Lefort Consulting Limited and an alumni of INSEAD. She is a seasoned financed professional with over nine years experience in corporate reporting tax, business and financial advisory. In this interview with JOSEPHINE OKOJIE, she speaks about the country’s tax structure and how supportive its is to SMEs.

What do you do at Lefort Consulting Limited?

Lefort Consulting Limited is a technology driven professional service provider, in the areas of Accounting and Data Analytics, Business Solution consulting, Financial Advisory, Tax Advisory Services, Specialized Human Capital and Capacity Building Services.

Lefort Consulting Limited has harnessed high-level acceptance and has been opportune to provide value added services to major corporate international and indigenous organizations resulting in a fast-growing client base that has become astronomical in her evolution as a vital part of the Financial Technology solutions and Accounting Industry.

How do you keep up with competition and what makes you different from other consulting firms?

Even though we believe the sky is wide enough for everyone, we distinguish ourselves by ensuring every client has the best experience possible with regards to service delivery in a professional and timely manner. We can confidently boast of not losing any client since commencement, which is a strong indication that we are doing something right. A client once said to us, “All it takes is just one experience and you are hooked, because you really solve problems”. We are committed to availing our clients, excellent professional services on the strength of our deep-rooted and vast knowledge and expertise in the business of the various areas of industry that we service. We always team up with our clients to actualize their organizational development goals and unrivalled level of corporate efficiency.

Read also: Lagos to expose more MSMEs to funding, market opportunities

What impact have you made since you started?

Through our services, we have helped our client’s businesses save nothing less than $200million in contributing to their continual growth and survival despite the pandemic. Also, through The Lefort Foundation which is the CSR arm of Lefort Consulting, we are raising a generation of premium and tech savvy finance professionals through practical learning, shared knowledge, and mentoring to reduce the unemployability gap and to empower Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. We have sustainably impacted and empowered about 1,000 finance professionals in different capacities across three (3) countries and created jobs for many.

Also, we are connecting finance professionals all around the world through “The Techy Accountant Community” to foster shared knowledge and opportunities. A lot of Finance Professionals have gotten jobs through the community.

What plans do you have for your clients this year to recover from the effect of the pandemic?

We are assessing the financial and business damage the pandemic has caused their businesses and based on our findings, we are proffering practical solutions.

No one living right now has ever experienced a pandemic like this, therefore we believe our proffered solutions must be ingenious and out of the box and that’s what we are doing for our clients. Also, we are giving huge financial consideration to clients because we are all about ensuring their businesses survive and thrive in the midst of, and post pandemic. This is not a time to abandon any client whatsoever.

How supportive is the Nigerian tax structure for SMEs?

The Finance Act 2020 and Finance Act 2021 have proven to be the right step in the right direction for supporting SMEs. Now, more SMEs find it easier and cheaper to comply with the tax laws and make their tax returns as at when due. The cost of tax compliance has reduced hereby freeing up more resources for growth of the SMEs. We still have some tax laws that are not favorable to SMEs like multiple taxation by the different tiers of government, high regulatory compliance cost amongst others, but I believe in the next few years, these will cease to exist with the continuous annual review and publication of the Finance Act.

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