The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has said the implementation of the 7.5% Value Added Tax approved by the Federal Executive Council would make nonsense of the recent increase in the minimum wage.
[READ MORE: The proposed VAT hike and the likely effect]
NECA, in a statement on Thursday, cautioned the Federal Government against the timing of the announced increase of VAT from 5% to 7.5%, which was approved by the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday.
“The benefits of the recently signed National Minimum Wage of N30,000 would be neutralised by the proposed increase in the VAT, further reduce the purchasing power of the citizens, leading to increase in prices of goods and services, resulting in upward movement of the inflation rate, and further contraction of the economy,” the Director-General, NECA, Mr Timothy Olawale, said.
He said since the purchasing power of the citizens would be reduced, sales of goods and services would reduce and inventories for business would be high, adding that this could lead to the closure of businesses that ought to be supported by the government in reducing the alarming unemployment rate in the country.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, who announced the approval of the new VAT rate after the FEC meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, had said consultations is expected to commence over when the new rate would apply.
She explained that stakeholders, including the National Assembly and the states, would have to agree on the date.
The Minister stated that the VAT Act would also have to be amended by the National Assembly before the commencement of the new rate, which she said could be sometime in 2020.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 20th of September 2020, 97 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 57,242 confirmed cases.
On the 20th of September 2020, 97 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,609 samples across the country.
To date, 57,242 cases have been confirmed, 48,569 cases have been discharged and 1,098 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 482,321 tests have been carried out as of September 20th, 2020 compared to 479,712 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 20th September 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 57,242
- Total Number Discharged – 48,569
- Total Deaths – 1,098
- Total Tests Carried out – 482,321
According to the NCDC, the 97 new cases were reported from 12 states- Lagos (46), Kwara (12), Rivers (11), Adamawa (4), Niger (4), Ogun (4), Osun (4), Ekiti (3), Imo (3), Kaduna (3), Plateau (2), FCT (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 18,943, followed by Abuja (5,551), Oyo (3,231), Plateau (3,231), Edo (2,611), Kaduna (2,348), Rivers (2,243), Delta (1,799), Ogun (1,766), Kano (1,734), Ondo (1,597), Enugu (1,234), Ebonyi (1,038), Kwara (1,025), Abia (881), Katsina (848), Osun (817), Gombe (799), Borno (741), and Bauchi (689).
Imo State has recorded 562 cases, Benue (473), Nasarawa (448), Bayelsa (394), Jigawa (322), Ekiti (317), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (254), Adamawa (234), Anambra (232), Sokoto (161), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (85), Zamfara (78), Yobe (75), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Godwin Obaseki wins Edo State governorship election
Incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki emerged winner in the Edo State gubernatorial election.
Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has declared Godwin Obaseki the winner of the Edo State gubernatorial election today.
Mr. Obaseki will return as the Governor of the state for a second term.
The results were declared by INEC on Sunday afternoon after the results were counted from all LGA’s on Saturday.
Obaseki had 307,955 votes, which was enough to be declared a clear winner over Ize-Iyamu’s 223,619 votes.
Obaseki took to his Twitter handle to thank the people of Edo State for their votes. He stated,
“Words fail me in saluting our teeming supporters who displayed immense courage in the face of threats, intimidation and brutalization. The collective will of Edo people made it possible for us to triumph over godfatherism. Congratulations to all Edo people. This is our victory!”
Words fail me in saluting our teeming supporters who displayed immense courage in the face of threats, intimidation and brutalization. The collective will of Edo people made it possible for us to triumph over godfatherism. Congratulations to all Edo people. This is our victory! pic.twitter.com/4X4Lfk3wMb
— Godwin Obaseki (GGO) (@GovernorObaseki) September 20, 2020
TikTok’s owner seeks $60 billion valuation in US deal as Oracle, Walmart take stakes
Oracle and Walmart have rights to buy 12.5% and 7.5% respectively of a newly established TikTok Global.
TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance is seeking a valuation of $60 billion for its video-sharing app, as Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc take stakes in the technology firm’s US operations to address the security concerns of the Trump administration.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Oracle and Walmart have rights to buy 12.5% and 7.5% respectively of a newly established TikTok Global under an agreement that has gotten the approval of President Donald Trump.
The duo US firms would be paying a combined amount of $12 billion for their stakes if they reach an agreement with TikTok for the asking price of $60 billion.
The final valuation had not been set as the parties worked out the equity and measures for data security.
It was also stated that China is yet to approve the deal, although regulators are said to have expressed support for any transaction in which BtyeDance still maintains control of its valuable recommendation algorithms and other proprietary technology.
It would be recalled that President Donald Trump, had threatened to ban the ByteDance owned TikTok, over national security concerns, but which some analysts see as part of the row between US and China. This pressured ByteDance into the deal as they looked to avoid the ban by the US government.
The US officials had expressed concern that the personal data of as many as 100 million Americans that use the app were being passed on to the Chinese government.
ByteDance turned down the proposal of a full buyout from Microsoft Corp but rather agreed to Oracle’s offer in which the Chinese parent company will still maintain a majority stake in the technology firm.
Trump told reporters on Saturday, ‘’I approve the deal in concept. If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s ok too.’’
Trump’s new stance appears to conflict with his earlier executive order for China’s ByteDance to divest from the video-sharing app’s operations in the United States.
ByteDance is in a race to avoid a ban on TikTok after the US Commerce Department said on Friday that it would block new downloads and updates to the app from Sunday.
According to market researcher, CB Insights, ByteDance is the most valued private start-up in the world at $140 billion. Under the proposed deal, ByteDance may end up owning as much as 80% of TikTok Global, which include the app’s operations in the US and the rest of the world excluding China. Venture firms like Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic may also acquire equity in the new business.