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Business News

FG says Finance Bill 2020 will check inflation

The Finance Minister has stated that the reduction of import duties on vehicles will subsequently reduce transport fares and food prices.

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Power: Mambilla Power Project not prioritised by Ministry of Power for 2021 Budget - Finance Minister

The Federal Government has said that the Finance Bill 2020 was designed to reduce import duties on some commodities, including vehicles, thereby checking inflation.

This is as the Bill was part of measures to make transportation affordable, thereby reducing the cost of foodstuff across the country.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, while answering questions from State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday.

Ahmed explained that her Ministry advocated and got approval for a reduction in the import duties charged on vehicles precisely to check inflation trends.

READ: FG to withdraw $150 million from sovereign wealth fund, to borrow $6.9 billion

What the Minister for Finance is saying

The Minister expressed concerns over the inflation rate in the country, saying inflation was high at 16.7% and still inching up gradually over the last couple of months.

Ahmed said, “When you look at the components that constitute inflation in our country, the largest contributor is food inflation and … if you decouple it, the largest contributor to food inflation is the cost of transport.

“We now look at how do we reduce the cost of transport because we can’t give every Nigerian money to pay for their transportation fares. We figured that one of the good ways to do it is to increase the acquisition of mass transit vehicles and to reduce the acquisition cost of vehicles and tractors that are used for productive purposes like agriculture.”

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READ: Nigeria to receive first tranche of World Bank’s $3 billion loan soon

She expressed optimism that the reduction of the import duties on vehicles, when fully operational, would boost mass transit activities and subsequently reduce transport fares and food prices.

She said, “So the reason why we reduce those duties is to reduce the cost of transportation.

”So, once this implementation takes full effect, we are hoping that we’ll be able to see more tractors coming into the country, more mass transit buses coming to the country, reducing the cost of transportation as a result, and also having an impact on food prices.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that as part of its bid to introduce tax incentives in the face of the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Government in November 2020, through the signed Finance Bill 2020, proposed the slash of import duties for tractors, buses and other motor vehicles from 35% to 10% and 0% to further help cushion the socio-economic conditions in the country.
  • The Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning had explained that the need to reduce food inflation figures through one of the causative factors of high production cost, which is transportation, inspired the bill.

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Business News

CAC sets 3-hour time line for company registration in 2021

The CAC is prioritising the reduction of the registration circle for new companies to just 3 hours before the end of the year 2021.

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CAC, Corporate Affairs Commission selects NIPOST as official courier partner

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has said that following the successful deployment of an end-to-end registration module, it was now prioritising the reduction of the registration circle for new companies to just 3 hours before the end of the year 2021.

This is coming after CAC had in November 2020, announced the implementation of new technology that will change the face of business registration including allowing customers to print their certificates with verifiable QR code from anywhere in the world.

This disclosure was made by the Registrar-General of the commission, Garba Abubakar, at a dinner in honour of the Chairman, Governing Board, CAC and Nigerian Ambassador-Designate to the Kingdom of Spain, Ademola Seriki.

In order to achieve this target, the Registrar-General said the commission was making arrangements to empower over 400 approving officers with working tools to process and approve registration applications either from home or anywhere necessary,” the agency stated.

Abubakar noted that the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic had adversely hampered CAC’s delivery timeline.

He, however, pointed out that CAC was resolutely committed to serving its customers despite being forced to operate with less than 50% of its workforce.

While bidding farewell to Seriki, the Registrar-General said he received the news of his appointment with mixed feelings as CAC was going to miss his tremendous support and guidance.

Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, described the outgoing CAC Chairman as a man of immense pedigree and endowed with enormous potential to justify the confidence reposed in him by the president.

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In case you missed it

  • The CAC recently announced the upgrade of its website and online registration portal to include features, which allow for the automation of some selected services and processes, in line with the Federal Government’s mandate of improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
  • The selected services and processes include Electronic search of company records, Upgraded Companies Registration Portal for Pre-incorporation filings and Post incorporation filings.

 

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DEAL: Nigerian fintech software provider, Appzone raises $10m to scale its products and services

Appzone platforms are used by 18 commercial banks and over 450 microfinance banks in Africa.

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Appzone a fintech software provider that builds proprietary solutions for financial institutions and their banking and payments services announced that it has closed $10 million in Series A investment.

The Series A round was led by CardinalStone Capital Advisers, a Lagos-based investment firm. Other investors include V8 Capital, Constant Capital, and Itanna Capital Ventures. New York-based but Africa-focused firm Lateral Investment Partners also participated.

Founded in 2008 by Emeka Emetarom, Obi Emetarom, and Wale Onawunmi, Appzone functions as an enabler (at payment rails and the core infrastructure) within banking and payments.

READ: Shola Akinlade: The inspiration behind Paystack’s success

Appzone platforms are used by 18 commercial banks and over 450 microfinance banks in Africa. Together, they amass a yearly transaction value and yearly loan disbursement of $2 billion and $300million.

Before now, Appzone closed a $2 million deal from South African Business Connexion (BCX) in 2014. Four years later, it raised $2.5 million in convertible debt and bought back shares from BCX in the process. But overall, the company says it has raised $15 million in equity funding.

This new funding will be used to scale its products and services and expand across more African countries. The startup also plans to achieve scale by growing its engineering team.

READ: From Chemist to Bank CEO – The Story of Uzoma Dozie

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What they are saying

Yomi Jemibewon, the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Cardinal Stone Capital Advisers, said the firm’s investment in Appzone is further proof of Africa’s potential as the future hub of world-class technology.

READ: Bill Gates holds far more cash than Nigeria’s foreign reserve

Appzone is building a disruptive fintech ecosystem that will be the backbone of Africa’s finance industry with products across payments, infrastructure, and software as a service. The impact of Appzone’s work is multifold — the company’s products deepen financial inclusion across the continent whilst providing best-fit and low-cost solutions to financial institutions. Its emphasis on premium talent also helps stem brain drain, rewarding Africa’s best brains with best-in-class employment opportunities.”

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