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Remittances to sub-Saharan Africa totaled $48 billion in 2019

According to the World Bank, the remittances to sub-Saharan Africa totalled $48 billion last year.

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The New Normal - Digital Transfers and Remittance in Nigeria

There is a boom for Africa-focused money transfer companies, as diaspora wanted to help their families amid COVID 19 pandemic. According to the World Bank, the remittances to sub-Saharan Africa totalled $48 billion last year. This development is despite predictions from the World Bank of a historic 20% drop to $445 billion in remittances to poorer countries this year, as a result of a pandemic-induced global economic slump.

READ: World Bank announces $12 billion COVID-19 vaccine finance plan for poor countries

READ: World Bank predicts Nigeria’s impending recession will be worst in 40 years

Remittance companies got an additional boost early on in the pandemic, when African central banks reduced fees and loosened limits on digital transactions, to encourage the public to use digital services to facilitate social distancing.

According to Dare Okoudjou, Founder of MFS Africa, “I would probably agree with the World Bank that the total amount (of remittances) will go down, but anyone who’s in digital would actually gain market share and see their volume go up.”

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READ: Nigeria’s Asset to GDP Ratio Is low despite rise in Mutual Fund value

What you should know

Nairametric had earlier reported that PricewaterhouseCoopers, a global tax and consulting firm, estimated that migrant remittances to Nigeria could grow to US$34.8 billion by 2023.

The pandemic gave remittance companies an advantage over their main competition in Africa; the sprawling informal networks of traders, bus drivers, and travellers used by many migrants to send money home.

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READ: World Bank predicts rebound of Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy next year

  • Remittances to sub-Saharan Africa officially totaled $48 billion last year, according to the World Bank. Experts, however, said this figure only tells a part of the story, though much of the monies Africans ship home via informal networks is absent from official data.
  • Amongst the industry executives, the shift is likely to last as digital remittance services are typically cheaper, faster, and safer than informal networks, which are difficult for governments to regulate.
  • Online remittance company, WorldRemit, reported last week that transfers to Zimbabwe via its service had doubled over the past six months.
  • Azimo, a UK-headquartered remittance company, whose major African markets include Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya, saw a nearly 200% increase over the expected number of new customers in April, May, and June.
  • According to Kenyan central bank data, remittances to Kenya were up 6.5%; though, August compared to the same period last year. Remittance inflows to Zimbabwe were up 33% through July.
  • Remittance companies got an additional boost early on in the pandemic when African central banks reduced fees and loosened limits on digital transactions, to encourage the public to use digital services to facilitate social distancing.
  • MFS Africa, which runs networks across 36 African countries to channel remittances between mobile money accounts, has seen year-on-year transaction growth of over 90% in 2020.
  • The company, which runs networks across 36 African countries to channel remittances between mobile money accounts, has seen year-on-year transaction growth of over 90% in 2020.
  • Mukuru based in South Africa, which focuses mainly on African remittances and allows customers to send both cash and groceries, has seen a roughly 75% acceleration in growth compared to last year.

 READ: World Bank ranks Nigeria among World’s most improved countries in “Doing Business” 

What they are saying

Having fled an economic implosion in his native Zimbabwe, Brighton Takawira was able to support his mother back home with modest earnings from a small perfume business he set up in South Africa.

Brighton Takawira uses the Mukuru remittance app which enables him to send money and groceries home to family in Zimbabwe from his home in Pinetown, South Africa. Then the pandemic struck and borders closed. The buses he had used to send his cash stopped running. According to him, “I had to send something, even a few dollars, though it meant sometimes going without bread

READ: World Bank predicts rebound of Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy next year

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According to Patrick Roussel, Head of mobile financial services Africa at French telecom company, Orange, “We saw an increase of transfers as the diaspora wanted to help their families

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READ: $70 billion per annum will be needed to tackle pandemic induced poverty – World Bank

Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website

According to Andy Jury, Chief Executive of Mukuru, South Africa, “We’ve seen an influx of new customers, and we see them mainly coming to us from the informal market.”

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FIRS to commence recovery of all outstanding tax debts and penalties from January 1, 2021

The FIRS has stated that it shall recover all outstanding debt with penalties and interest from January 1, 2021.

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FG apologizes, says Self-Certification directive is not for everyone, FIRS introduces stamp duty on house rent and C of O transactions

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has disclosed that its waivers on penalties and interest on outstanding taxes arising from desk examinations, audit exercises, investigations, or all other forms of tax assessment will close on December 31, 2020.

Hence, effective from January 1, 2021 the Service shall recover all outstanding debt with penalties and interest, in accordance with the provisions of the extant tax laws.

This disclosure was made by Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, the Director of Communications and Liaison Department, Federal Inland Revenue Service, in a press release issued on December 2, 2020.

Consequently, the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, in a notice urged taxpayers to use the advantage of the remaining days of this month to settle their tax obligations in order to enjoy all subsisting waivers offered thereof by the Service.

(READ MORE: FIRS issues deadline for to obtain Tax Identification Number)

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The Executive Chairman in the reminder notice tagged “Public Notice on the Recovery of Outstanding Taxes from Taxpayers”, disclosed that FIRS in recent times, has issued a series of palliatives for the waivers of penalties and interest on outstanding taxes.

He explained that the Service had noticed that some taxpayers are yet to take advantage of the palliative windows opened to cushion the effect of the challenges of the economy on taxpayers.

Mr. Nami, however, called the attention of taxpayers to the last window of opportunity for the waiver of outstanding penalties and interest on all taxes collectible by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, which will close on 31st December 2020.

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What they are saying

Mr. Muhammad Nami, in the reminder notice, said:

“The Service has observed that some taxpayers are yet to take advantage of the palliative windows opened to cushion the effect of the challenges of the economy on taxpayers.

“Furthermore, the Service wishes to put all taxpayers on notice that the last window of opportunity for the waiver of outstanding penalties and interest on all taxes collectible by the Federal Inland Revenue Service shall close on 31st December 2020.

“Consequently, all concerned taxpayers are hereby put on notice that after the expiration date of 31st December 2020, the Service shall recover all outstanding debt with penalties and interest, in accordance with the provisions of the extant tax laws such as ‘the power of substitution’ conferred on it by Section 31 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act 2007.”

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N117 billion approved by FG for road rehabilitation

Babatunde Fashola has disclosed that the FG has approved the sum of over N117 billion for road rehabilitation across the country.

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Second Niger Bridge will be completed in 2022, project, Minister of Power works and housing Babatunde Fashola, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNEPCo Bayo Ojulari, Power supply in Nigeria

The Federal Government has approved the sum of over N117 billion for the rehabilitation of roads across the country in 2021.

This was disclosed by Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, in a press briefing after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting was held in Abuja on Wednesday.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported last month that Mr Fashola had stated that the Ministry’s priority in its 2021 budget was to complete already ongoing road and bridge projects across the nation.
  • Fashola also said that the Federal Government needed at least N500 billion annually for the next 3 years to develop and fix its 35,000 kilometres road network, as work continued on 13,000 kilometres of the network.
  • Fashola stated last month that the Federal Government was committed to finishing the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, adding that the drop in crude oil prices could not be a barrier to its completion.

Fashola disclosed on Wednesday that the sum of N18.9 billion, was approved for the rehabilitation of roads and bridges including the 26 km of Kano-Dambatta-Kazaure-Daura road, Anambra- Enugu Roads, Bridge construction Cross River, Nkumi bridge and others.

The other memorandum relating to roads also is for the total sum of N98.7 billion,” he added. This includes roads and bridges in Zamfara, Kebbi, Katsina, Anambra and Kano

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$1.3 billion Malabu oil field sale was perfect – Dan Etete

Nigeria’s former Petroleum Minister has said that the sale of the $1.3 billion Malabu oil field to Shell and Eni in 2021 was legally perfect.

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FG seizes Dan Etete’s luxury private jet linked to Malabu oil deal

Dan Etete, former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum has said that the $1.3 billion sales of Malabu oil field to Shell and Eni in 2021 was legally perfect, with zero traces of corruption in the deal.

He disclosed this on Wednesday through his lawyer, Antonio Secci, in a Milan Court, investigating the cases of bribery and corruption related to the deal, as reported by Reuters.

READ: Why Nigeria is suing Royal Dutch Shell and ENI for $1.1bn

In Wednesday’s hearing, Dan Etete’s lawyers called for the former Nigerian Minister to be acquitted of corruption charges related to the deal.

Reuters disclosed that 13 other people are involved in the corruption case including CEO of Eni, Claudio Descalzi.

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READ: Court adjourns trial of Shell, Eni officials over bribery allegation in Nigeria

The accused pleaded non-guilty and said that the proceeds of the deal were paid into accounts owned by the Nigerian Government.

The ex-Shell executives also accused in the case will have a hearing on the 9th of December.

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READ: P&ID dispute: $200 million guarantee to FG judgment shows FG’s commitment to tackle corruption-  Malami

What you should know 

Multinational oil companies, Eni and Shell, paid $1.3 billion in 2011 to acquire OPL 245 offshore field.

The payment was to a company called Malabu, which was owned by Nigeria’s former Oil Minister, Dan Etete.

However, Italian prosecutors claim that most of the payments were kickbacks to Nigerian government officials. Italian prosecutors also claim that nearly $1.1 billion was stolen by Nigerian politicians and middlemen, with Dan Etete keeping half.

READ: $85 Million Malabu oil money has been refunded to FG

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Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, Justice Abubakar Malami, reported in July that the Dutch and Swiss governments were expected to send the sum of $200 million from the OPL 245 Malabu Oil deal to Nigeria.

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Multinational Petroleum oil and gas giant, Royal Dutch Shell, announced that it would write down its investment in the controversial Malabu OPL 245 offshore field in Nigeria.

READ: Italian Court jails Nigerian, one other over Malabu oil deal

in June, the Federal Government tracked down and grounded a luxury private jet, owned by the country’s former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete, over his alleged involvement in the $1.1 billion Malabu oil scam. The luxury private jet was alleged to have been purchased with proceeds from that oil deal.

Nairametrics reported that the Federal Government, on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, asked a court in Milan to order Royal Dutch Shell and Eni to pay the sum of $1.092 billion as an immediate advance payment for damages in the Malabu oil scandal.

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