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COVID-19: AfDB postpones Africa Investment Forum to 2021

The Africa Investment Forum, scheduled for this November has had to be postponed because of the still raging COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and its partners, the Africa Investment Forum (AIF), have announced the postponement of the AIF Forum scheduled to hold in South Africa in November 2020 to 2021, due to COVID-19.

READ: Fidson Healthcare Plc records 30.28% increase in 2020 9M revenues

This was disclosed in a statement by the AfDB on Wednesday evening, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

AfDB also acknowledged the rising second wave of the pandemic, affecting global travels and investments as a reason for the postponement.

READ: Fidelity Bank posts N20.41 billion profit in nine months

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The Multilateral organization disclosed that the forum has been an opportunity for stakeholders in Africa to close deals, as 2 deals worth $40.1 billion were secured in the 2019 forum. The Bank says despite the postponement, it will continue to deliver deals and investment for the African continent.

What you should know

Nairametrics reported in July that AFDB published its African Economic Outlook 2020 Supplement and warned that the continent’s GDP would fall by at least 1.7%, and if the coronavirus pandemic continues into the second half of 2020, it could contract up to 3.4%. 

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“Africa could suffer GDP losses in 2022 between $145.5 billion (baseline) and $189.7 billion (worst case) from the pre-COVID-19 estimated GDP of $2.59 trillion for 2020,” the Bank stated.

The bank warned some losses will be carried over into 2021, as the projected recovery would be partial, and warned of projected GDP losses for 2021, ranging from $27.6 billion to $47 billion (worst case). 

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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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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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