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Business News

5,000 SMEs to benefit from $300 million FG grant

5,000 SMEs will benefit from a $300 million investment initiative set aside for businesses in the Agricultural sector.

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FG foreign reserves Nigeria Yemi-Osinbajo, FG negotiates with Governors on bail-out fund, as NEC approves 100 billion for NLTP, bail-out fund States Governors, FG earns N28.6 trillion from VAT, others , Ease of doing Business: States must partner with Federal Government – Osinbajo , AfCFTA: Nigeria’s financial footprints to be extended across Africa – Osinbajo , FG seeks partnership with National Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, here’s why , Osinbajo says FG’s investment to take advantage of Africa’s $200bn tourism potential is massive, Pres. Buhari’s plan to tax US tech companies might provoke US trade war https://www.yemiosinbajo.ng/vps-lecture-at-the-national-defence-college-course-28-lecture-event/ https://punchng.com/digital-firms-to-pay-tax-under-new-finance-act-osinbajo-2/ https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/31/business/economy/digital-tax-oecd.html Nigeria at risk of trade war with United States as the Nigerian Government says it will impose taxes on technology companies like Facebook, Google, and other digital companies that have been escaping tax payment in Nigeria due to their lack of presence within the country. The US has threatened tariffs on imports from countries that impose such digital taxes. The tech companies with heavy revenue footprint in Nigeria now have their backs against the wall because President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration want to tax them to grow Nigeria’s revenue; which has led to the development of the Finance Act. The Finance Act is the solution of President Buhari to the revenue problem which the Finance Minister, Ahmad Zainab, said Nigeria has. The Nigerian government is looking to grow its revenue through taxes, and one of such is the digital tax which Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, said will commence despite the threat of the US which is aimed at protecting the silicon companies. No more back door operation: Facebook, Google, Amazon, YouTube and many more digital businesses have a sizeable market in Nigeria, but don’t have a physical structure for their operations; this has cost Nigeria tax revenue. These companies are known to prefer situating their companies in tax havens where taxes are low compared to other African and European countries. Ireland and Bermuda are some of the tax havens for these multinational companies. But according to Osinbajo, the period of making gains from their operation in Nigeria without paying tax is over. Osinbajo, while speaking at The National Defence College, Course 28 Lecture Event, said that, “Let me also briefly mention the new provisions on Taxation of Digital Economy and Non-Resident Companies. This is a very important aspect of our taxation policy. Before the Finance Act, only companies that had a physical presence or a fixed base in Nigeria could be taxed. “So, most digital companies, I mean any of the big technology companies, or multi-national digital companies, that did not have physical offices in Nigeria, made significant income from Nigeria from online activities, such as advertising, movie streaming, online gaming and e-commerce from subscribers in Nigeria, but paid no taxes whatsoever because they did not have a physical base in Nigeria. So now we are no longer relying on the fixed base or physical address criterion.” He added that, “Under the Finance Act, once you have a Significant Economic Presence (SEP) in Nigeria, you are liable to tax. Whether you are a resident here or you are not resident as a company, as long as your economic presence is significant, you are liable to tax. If you are streaming online, advertising using Google adverts, whether you are resident here or not, you are now subject to tax. “So, non-residents who previously had no fixed base and no Nigerian tax liability will now be liable to tax based on the SEP criterion. The Minister of Finance is empowered to issue a regulation defining what Significant Economic Presence means. So, she just defines the scope of what we will be looking out for in terms of Significant Economic Presence.” Osinbajo explained. Nigeria is not alone in this crusade: Nigeria is not the only country trying to tax these technology companies. The European Union have also been coming after them for taxes. The EU is also stating that if the technology companies are making economic gains through their operation despite the lack of physical presence in several European countries, then the tech conglomerates should be taxed. This has led to review of tax laws by the EU. According to a report by New York Times, new rules to tax these multinational companies are being discussed by about 130 countries through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The review has become necessary as digital economy begins to open new revenue sources. Should Nigeria tread carefully? The United States has threated to hit any country imposing taxes on the technology companies - which are mostly American – with tariffs on import. This put Nigeria at a rather impossible position, as the country is not economically strong enough to enter a trade war or go on a tit for tat battle with the US. According to Q3 report, the US is the fifth biggest export destination for Nigeria, having imported N322.2 billion (6.28%) goods from Nigeria, with crude oil constituting N329.8 billion. Although, the US is behind Ghana, India, Netherlands and Spain, it doesn’t change the significance of the US market to the Nigerian economy. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s top import sources include the U.S, accounting for N747 billion in H1 2019. Franch had moved to tax the online businesses but have now delayed the plan this year after a meeting with the US; the US has also paused its tariff threat against France. Britain is also one of the digital tax drivers. With such threat hanging over the digital tax, it’s unlikely Nigeria will go ahead taxing these technology companies, as US feels such tax is discriminatory against US firms, and have suggested these companies be allowed to decide if they want to operate with the new tax standards., FG will provide succor for daily wage earners as lockdown continues – Osinbajo

5,000 Small and Medium Entreprises (SMEs) will benefit from a $300 million investment initiative set aside for businesses in the Agricultural sector.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo announced this at the inauguration of the scheme in Abuja. He reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to provide a favourable clime for small businesses in the country via a partnership with the U.S. and the Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA).

Nigeria's Agricultural sector records highest growth in Q1 2019

[READ MORE: PwC reveals Nigeria’s real estate is holding about $900 billion to ransom]

Osinbajo noted that the new partnership was a seed towards cementing a greater agricultural future for Nigeria.

Adam Saffer, the USAID contractor in charge of the Feed the Future (FTF) Nigerian Agribusiness Investment activity added that the opportunity was very huge and should be adopted.

He noted that the arable land, mass bodies of water, human resources, high-yielding soil, and natural resources possessed by Nigeria are all capable of making the country an agricultural giant in Africa.

According to Gaffer, the Feed the Future Project would involve collaboration among banks, investors, processors and every important link in the agricultural sector. He said the collaboration would make the environment more enabling and even rewarding for investors.

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“With a more efficient agribusiness sector, food generation, better income and more inclusiveness of women and youth, we can end up with better food quality at a lower price.  Our activity is trying to activate $300 million from the investors, from the banks and from the financial institutions to make this happen.

[READ MORE: NCAA moves to eliminate fake travel agents]

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The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, who was present at the inauguration explained that the role of the U.S. Government in the partnership borders on improving the Agric value chain in Nigeria while guiding against any risks that would come up in the process of relating with financial institutions.

The targeted states include Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Niger, Kebbi, and Cross River states.

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Reincarnated as a lover of stocks, Angel investors, seed funds, and anything aligned to tech or startups raising money, Joseph's work at Nairametrics involves following the money to wherever it leads. Before joining Nairametrics, he won an investigative journalism fellowship with ICIR, appeared in several national dallies, with hard-hitting opinions, features and investigative pieces. He has also engaged in content marketing and copywriting for a top e-commerce firm in Nigeria.

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Reviews

Review of the V bank version 3.0: Nigeria’s first intelligent digital banking app

V Bank has upgraded its application to offer new services to its users and improve operational efficiency.

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Review of the V bank version 3.0: Nigeria's first intelligent Digital banking App

Nigeria’s fully digital bank, V Bank, a product of VFD microfinance bank Launched March 8, 2020, has upgraded its application to offer new services to its users and improve operational efficiency.

The new VBank app will enable users to securely access their accounts to automate recurring bills, manage multiple cards from different banks, send and receive funds using a unique QR code, track spending, generate virtual cards for online payments, buy airtime and data, fix deposits and make free transfers, all within a sleek, responsive and easy-to-use interface.

This review explains how to download and use the new V bank version 3.0 app. During the review, we took into consideration the design, user experience, usability, new features of the App, and how it functions well.

The device used for the review: Apple iPhone Xsmax

Getting started with V bank

These are the following information required for successfully registering as a user on the V bank app:

  • Sign Up by downloading the V bank app and creating your account
  • Input your BVN-linked phone number on the app and date of birth
  • Take a photo with a white background to Validate your identity
  • Verify your identity by inputting your BVN number on the app or use your existing bank account.
  • Finally, a signature for validation and a four-digit pin password.

What’s New on the V bank App?

The new app, version 3.0 comes with some new cool features that are rather unique. Let’s talk about all the new features and our experience while setting up and performing different transactions.

New V bank Interface

After you log in or sign up, the first thing you see is the V bank dashboard and it is pretty cool. The UI and interactions are super neat. The use of colours and components under the analytics section is simple and clean. This is perfect!!

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New V bank interface

Send and receive money using Proximity payments and QR payment features

V bank users can now send or receive money easily through the proximity or QR payment features. You can pay or receive money from a nearby V bank app user using the proximity payment feature. Click on the proximity payment icon and start searching for a nearby user to pay while receiving payment wait for the user to start searching.

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Recipients using the proximity payment feature must have their phones at close range.

 

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Another interesting way you can make a transfer easily is by scanning the QR code of the user receiving the payment.

To receive a payment, each user must generate a QR code which will be used to scan while making a transfer.

The QR payment feature is actually unique as it enables users to make or receive payments from near and far locations. The only requirement is to have the QR code to scan for payment.

QR Code

Intelligent Mobile Top-up feature

We always want to send airtime or data to people as a surprise and most times we have the mobile number but don’t know the network provider. The new V bank app comes with an intelligent mobile top-up feature that detects each network provider automatically with just the phone number. You don’t need to call the recipient asking for his network provider, the app does that for you.

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Airtime top-up

Cardless Withdrawal

It is not always convenient and secure to carry a wallet or purse with ATM cards. You can make a careless withdrawal without your ATM cards using the V bank app by generating a code. The app also helps you in locating the nearest ATM locations for your careless withdrawal. This feature is convenient and more secure.

Transfer funds to multiple recipients at once

Imagine how tired Don Jazzy will feel after paying each follower that won his giveaway separately. It actually is exhausting but the V bank eliminates that stress with the new multiple beneficiary feature. You can send money with just one transaction to up to 5 people.

Multiple transfer feature

Track your spending

The Analytics dashboard shows a beautiful interface with total inflow (payment made) and total outflow (Amount withdraw or debited). This gives you a clear pictorial overview of your income and expenses.

app

Under categories, users can track their spending such as online/POS, utility, mobile, family. work, lifestyle, food, utility, transport, and more on a monthly basis. This feature enables you to Identify bad spending habits and make adjustments to improve your finances.

Overview of income flow, expenses, and budget

Manage Multiple cards from different accounts

One of the App’s latest features is managing multiple cards from different accounts.

We requested a new virtual card which cost 500 Naira ($1) for a new one and it expires in three years. You can also request and activate V bank physical card using the app. The new feature enables users to add ATM cards from different bank accounts on the app and all the debit cards can be managed using the V bank app under the cards section.

Managing your cards section

Automate Recurring Transactions

The new feature allows users to automate recurring transactions weekly, monthly, or on a yearly basis depending on the type of service requested. You can easily schedule payment for your DSTV bill on a monthly basis.

Other features you would be interested in

  • Make free transfers i.e there are no hidden transfer/ transaction fees.
  • You can open a target savings account, fixed deposit account, or a joint account using the V bank App.
  • Request a loan
  • Chat with a customer care representative using the app
  • Earn money when you invite your friends
  • Become a Veelager and earn profit

Final thoughts

The new version of V bank is well designed for both new and existing users of digital banking. The app enables users to easily navigate and perform seamless transactions. The design interface and user experience make it a great option for anyone looking for a perfect digital bank.

With the rise of technology, everything is possible with just a few clicks on the mobile phone. In the next version, we expect to see a voice-activated virtual assistant feature on the app.

The new V bank 3.0 app comes with innovative and sophisticated digital banking features which will help V bank users manage their money effectively, spend wisely and perform transactions easily with guaranteed security.

VBank 3.0 is available as V by VFD on the Play Store and Apple store. For more information, visit vbank.ng

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Business

CBN includes sugar, wheat on FX restriction list

The CBN is set to include sugar and wheat in the forex restriction list.

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CBN forex restrictions on food itemsCBN approves new cheque standard for banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced plans to place sugar and wheat on its FX restriction list.

The plan was disclosed by the apex bank via its verified Twitter handle in a statement credited to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.

The tweet stated: “Sugar and Wheat to go into our FX restriction list. We must work together to produce these items in Nigeria rather than import them. #Emefiele.”

It would be recalled that over the years, the CBN has been reviewing its list of restricted food items to include more items, with the most recent being the addition of maize, a widely-consumed staple food in the country.

What you should know

  • The CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had earlier (on Thursday) given this hint while on an inspection visit to the proposed $500 million sugar processing facility in Nasarawa state, belonging to Dangote Sugar.
  • In 2015, the CBN listed 41 items that had been placed on its FX restriction list citing that the move was necessary to conserve the nation’s foreign reserve and boost local production of the items on the restriction list.
  • Some of the items which made the 2015 list are margarine, poultry and eggs, rice, and cement.
  • In 2020, the apex bank included maize in its FX restriction list as it directed all authorised dealers to immediately discontinue the processing of Forms M for maize/corn importation into the country.
  • Nairametrics had also earlier explained in its publication following the new policy shift, that the government’s premise for deciding to restrict FOREX on food is faulty, especially since Nigeria has not attained full food security and the agricultural sector is still struggling.

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