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Ease of doing Business: States must partner with Federal Government – Osinbajo 

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has called on other states to partner with the FG to ensure that businesses run smoothly in Nigeria. ‘

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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

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has called on other states to partner with the Federal Government to ensure that businesses run smoothly in Nigeria. 

He made this statement at the inauguration of Kings Flour Mill at Onna in Akwa Ibom as part of programmes organised to mark the 32nd anniversary of the State. He described Akwa Ibom as Nigeria’s investment hub. 

ease of business

While felicitating with Governor Udom Emmanuel and the people of the Akwa Ibom, he commended the Governor for providing a favourable environment for businesses to thrive. 

He noted that he was present in the state to commission Jubilee Syringe factory, a metering solution plant and some upgraded health facilities in September 2017. He also promised that he would be back to commission more projects. 

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[READ MORE: PEBEC launches REPORTGOV App to drive ease of doing business

 Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, is working relentlessly to attract sustainable investments to boost the Industrialisation drive of the Federal Government. These will create employment and generate wealth for the state and country. I appreciate the investors for the choice of Akwa Ibom State for their investment and I’m optimistic that the youths will seize these opportunities to acquire skills that would enhance self-reliance,” he said. 

Kings Flour Mill: The factory is expected to produce 500 metric tonnes of flour daily. According to the Governor, Kings Flour Mill is one of the best flour millers in Europe and he applauded the investors for hearkening to the appeal to come and invest in the state. 

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Going further, Osinbajo went to reaffirm the Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring ease of businesses in Nigeria. 

“The Government has spent a lot of time and energy in propagating the ease of doing business in Nigeria and we want to attract investments to Nigeria. How do we attract these investments? We need power, we need infrastructure and the right environment to bring in investments. Everyone that wants to join the Federal Government should also partner with us,” the President stated. 

[READ ALSO: Abuja, Niger, Kaduna ranked best destination to do business in Nigeria] 

A Nairametrics’ report, however, stated that businesses still encounter barriers in doing businesses in Nigeria. A finance and tax expert, Dr Peter Adebayo said businesses face challenges of erratic power supply and poor infrastructure mostly at the ports. 

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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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Business News

Geely Auto to invest 54 million dollars in the development of healthy cars

Geely’s leading track record will be taken to a new level with the development of an all-round “healthier car.”

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As Exclusive Partner of Geely Automotive in Nigeria, Mikano brings us great news of Geely Automotive innovative steps towards development of “healthy, intelligent vehicles” by earmarking 54 million Dollars of funding to it; as a furthering of the fight against Coronavirus.

The move not only adds a new dimension to Geely’s understanding of “passenger safety,” it also represents a new development direction for automobiles.

The development of a “healthier car” differs from specialized medical vehicles in that Geely’s products are made for ordinary consumers. Cars with comprehensive virus protection not only require the capability to isolate harmful substances in the air, it also needs to quickly and effectively purify cabin air for occupants.

Geely Auto’s global R&D and design networks based in Europe, USA and China will jointly move to develop and research new environmentally sustainable materials with anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which can be used within air-conditioner systems and on frequently touched surfaces such as buttons and handles.

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Geely Auto will make full use of its global R&D system and resources as well as cooperate with professional medical and scientific research institutions to set up special project teams to work on the new research.

An Conghui, President of Geely Holding Group and President and CEO of Geely Auto Group said “Epidemic prevention is a job that requires the long-term effort of wider society. As the most common mode of transportation, consumers spend a considerable amount time in their cars, akin to a “second home” Only by making healthier products can we meet consumer demand for better quality of life. Based on the automotive industry’s development direction built around electrified, connectivity, intelligence, and shared mobility, auto companies should commit to developing products that help protect the health of drivers and passengers. This will become one of Geely Auto key long-term development objectives.”

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Earlier on January 28, Geely Holding Group joined hands with the Li Shufu Foundation to set up a special 30 million dollars fund in support of the new coronavirus prevention and control, with a focus on the mass purchasing of much needed medical supplies for China in the short term.

Geely’s leading track record will be taken to a new level with the development of an all-round “healthier car.” Geely’s move sets a new precedent in the development of safety technologies that goes beyond developing leading crash test results and moves into new dimensions of passenger safety.

Visit www.geely.ng to find out more about Geely Nigeria

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Business News

Exchange rate falls again at NAFEX window as #EndSARS protests escalates

The Naira depreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window closing at N386/$1.

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Naira, Exchange rate falls across forex markets as dollar liquidity remains low

Nigeria’s exchange rate at the NAFEX window depreciated against the dollar to close at N386/$1 during intraday trading on Monday, October 19.

Also, the naira remained stable against the dollar, closing at N462/$1 at the parallel market on Monday, October 19, 2020, as the protest against the special anti-robbery unit (SARS) and police brutality by the Nigerian youth escalates with its impact on business activities across the country

READ: Naira falls again at black market as #EndSARS protest limits movement.

Parallel market: According to information from Abokifx, a prominent FX tracking website, at the black market where forex is traded unofficially, the Naira remained stable against the dollar to close at N462/$1 on Monday. This was the same rate that it exchanged for on Friday, October 16.

Current developments

  • The local currency had strengthened by about 7.8% within the one week in September at the black market, as the CBN introduced some measures targeted at exporters and importers, in order to try to boost the supply of dollars in the foreign exchange market, and reduce the high demand for forex by traders. The measure
  • The CBN has sold over $500 million to BDCs since they resumed forex sales on Monday, September 7, 2020. This was expected to inject more liquidity to the retail end of the foreign exchange market and discourage hoarding and speculation.
  • However, the exchange rate against the dollar has remained volatile after the initial gains made, following the CBN’s resumption of sales of dollars to the BDCs.
  • The President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators, Aminu Gwadebe, said he expects the impact of the extra liquidity in the market to be gradual.
  • Despite the drop in speculative buying of foreign exchange, the huge demand backlog by manufacturers and foreign investors still puts pressure and creates a volatile situation in the foreign exchange market.

READ ALSO: Naira falls big across all forex market despite another $50 million allocation to BDCs

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NAFEX: The Naira depreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window on Monday, closing at N386/$1.

  • This represents a 17 kobo drop when compared with the N385.83/$1 that it exchanged for on Friday, October 16.
  • The opening indicative rate was N386 to a dollar on Monday. This represents a 38 kobo gain when compared to the N386.38 that was recorded on Friday.
  • The N392.30 to a dollar is the highest rate during intraday trading before closing at N386. It also sold for as low as N380/$1 during intraday trading.

READ: Why Airtel Nigeria credited subscribers with free airtime

Forex turnover: Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window declined by 3.6% on Monday, October 16, 2020.

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  • According to the data tracked by Nairametrics from FMDQ, forex turnover dropped from $125.40 million on Friday, October 16, 2020, to $120.93 million on Monday, October 19, 2020.
  • The CBN is still struggling to clear the backlog of foreign exchange demand, especially by foreign investors wishing to repatriate back their funds.
  • The drop in forex supply after the huge increase 2 trading days ago reinforces the volatility of the foreign exchange market. The supply of dollars has been on a decline for months due to low oil prices and the absence of foreign capital inflow into the country.
  • As part of the measure to check forex abuse and check illegal transactions, the CBN last month directed the freezing of accounts of about 38 companies.
  • The average daily forex sale for last week was about $169.93 million, which represents a huge increase from the $34.5 million that was recorded the previous week.
  • Total forex trading at the NAFEX window in the month of August was about $857 million, compared to $937 million in July.
  • The exchange rate is still being affected by low oil prices, dollar scarcity, a backlog of forex demand and a shaky economy that has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • According to Reuters, currency traders said that the naira is expected to be stable this week as banks limit foreign exchange transactions by both firms and individual buyers on the unofficial black market to curb speculation.Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website

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Coronavirus

#EndSARS: FG expects increase in Covid-19 cases in the next 2 weeks

FG has warned that the ongoing #EndSARS protest may spark up a second wave of coronavirus.

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FG approves reopening of NYSC camps, extends tenure of PTF on COVID-19, FG commences process of resumption of international flight operations in weeks, COVID-19: Reactions trail FG travel ban on 13 countries

The Federal Government has warned that Nigerians should expect an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases across the country in the next 2 weeks.

This is due to the total disregard of the preventive measures against the virus during the ongoing nationwide #EndSARS protest which has been witnessing huge gatherings.

READ: Covid-19: CDC revises guidance, says virus can spread through airborne transmission

This disclosure was made by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, at the national briefing of the task force in Abuja on Monday, October 20, 2020.

He said despite the appreciable success recorded so far in the fight against COVID-19, the ongoing protest may spark up a second wave of the virus.

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READ: COVID-19: Spike in new cases suggests a looming second wave of the pandemic

Mustapha said, “I can say it authoritatively that with the ongoing protest across the country, in the next two weeks the cases of COVID-19 would have increased. Each and everyone that attended the protest and did not put up any form of protection is likely going to spread the virus. When people contract the virus during the protest gathering, they will go back home and spread it.

READ: 1 billion students in developing nations may be out of school due to second wave of COVID-19 – World Bank

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“This is one of the reasons why we must be extremely careful when we congregate because when you gather together in such an atmosphere where people don’t wear face masks or maintain the social distance you are creating a potential opportunity for carriers to spread the virus.

“So far we have done pretty well as a country but this protest is like a setback and we must avoid a situation where we will have a resurgence. Countries that thought they have overcome are dealing with the second wave. We are extremely lucky as a nation and we should be careful of any situation that can warrant the second wave.”

He said any mass gathering that does not adhere to the non-pharmaceutical interventions that have been put in place, like wearing of face masks, social distancing, and keeping personal hygiene, becomes a super spreader event.

READ: COVID -19: Nigerian companies have records of innovation to turn pandemic challenge to gold

What it means: With the expected spike in the number of Covid-19 cases due to these protests across the country, Nigeria runs the risk of having a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak which had before now been on a decline. This could lead to the resumption of lockdown measures by the government, in order to contain the spread of the pandemic.

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