African richest woman, Folorunso Alakija has reacted to the Federal Government’s plan to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) from its current 5% to 7.5%, saying the move is a threat to entrepreneurs across the country.
Speaking during a recently-held interview, the Executive Vice Chairman of Famfa Oil, said if the proposed VAT increment should be fully implemented, it will be difficult for entrepreneurs that operate within the shores of the country to make money.
Alakija’s words; “Increasing VAT will make it more difficult for entrepreneurs to be able to make as much money as they would have liked to.
“But it is also what the government need for nation-building, because it is tax that the government earns as income. Without tax, no government can really stand on its legs. So long that it is being ploughed back into the areas where they are needed, and they are not growing wings.”
Recall that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved the increment of the VAT to 7.5% from 5%. The Minister of finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed disclosed this to state house correspondents at the end of the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, September 11, 2019.
What you should know: If approved by the federal lawmakers, the new VAT rate will take effect in 2020. In Nigeria, VAT replaced the sales tax in 1994 and was pegged at 5% by the military government of Sani Abacha.
In 2007, former President Olusegun Obasanjo increased VAT to 10% on the eve of his departure from office but it was reversed by his successor, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, following opposition from the Labour Unions.
Meanwhile, it is pertinent to note that despite wide criticisms that have greeted both the VAT increment, the Federal Government considers the move as the most potent channels to meet the new minimum wage implementation.
Atsu Davoh is building ways for Africans to easily acquire and spend cryptocurrency
Atsu Davoh has gone from failed projects to running one of Ghana’s most innovative startups.
In recent times, the tech space in Africa has experienced immense growth, with the introduction of several key players and disruptors across various sectors. One sector that is also rising is the cryptocurrency space with Africa experiencing greater crypto ownership and trade volume.
The number of Bitcoins processed on a single day reached its highest value at the beginning of 2021, as more people displayed interest in the cryptocurrency. Due to its fast adoption, more fintech players have created platforms that have made trading with cryptocurrency easier. One of such players is Atsu Davoh who calls himself the “product guy.”
Atsu Davoh dropped out of college (Carleton College) in the United States and moved back to Ghana to help innovate on Africa’s financial infrastructure. Atsu first discovered Bitcoin in 2017 during the first boom when it became mainstream. Before then, he and his co-founder Samuel Baohen had been involved in many failed projects.
He developed a USSD system where people could buy bitcoin through their phone numbers, like tying crypto to phone numbers in a native way. This was one of the first iterations of Bitsika.
Atsu was invited to Join Binance Labs Incubator by Yele Bademosi where he got $150,000 after graduating from the incubator. Bitsika went on to raise around $900,000 from investors. This brought the total seed raised to $1,050,000.
This USSD system worked in Ghana but didn’t work in Nigeria. Atsu and his team then pivoted the platform to a donation crowdfunding platform, which allowed people living in other countries to send donations to African nationals in need of the funds before finally building it into a cross-border crypto remittance platform.
Bitsika users can deposit and remit money across multiple currencies using the app, with all monies deposited in Bitsika stored in USD credits or stable-coin.
Bitsika has over 50,000+ downloads on Playstore and processed nearly $40 million in 2020 with $18,872,474 in deposits, $17,890,807 in payouts (withdrawals), and $3,189,834 in internal peer-to-peer transfers.
Despite a few unfavourable regulations surrounding cryptocurrency in Africa, the market has shown no signs of slowing down as more people are building products that will make trading seamless.
FG signs new Sustainable Development Goals agreement with UN
The Agreement is for new development cooperation with initiatives towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals set in the UN Agenda 2030.
The Nigerian Government has signed a deal with the United Nations to develop new cooperation towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in a statement on Thursday after the agreement was signed with the United Nations Office for Project Services, UNOPS, represented by Ifeoma Charles.
The Minister said, “On behalf of the Nigerian Government, I signed an agreement with the UNOPS represented by Ifeoma Charles Multi-Country Office Rep. The Agreement is for a new development cooperation with initiatives towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals set in the UN Agenda 2030.”
What you should know
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are:
No Poverty; Zero Hunger, Good Health, and Well-being; Quality Education; Gender Equality; Clean Water and Sanitation; Affordable and Clean Energy; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Reducing Inequality; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Life Below Water; Life on Land; Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and Partnership for the Goals.
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