Items filtered by date: Thursday, 15 November 2018
Telecommunication company, MTN Nigeria, has sued the Nigerian government to the tune of N3 billion.
 
The firm, in the new suit, is challenging the legality of N242 billion and $1.3 billion import duties and withholding tax demanded from it by the Nigerian government.
 
The embattled company, in the suit filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos, is demanding the N3 billion for general and exemplary damages and legal costs from the defendant.
 
A judge, Chukwujekwu Aneke, on Thursday, adjourned the suit until December 3 for hearing after counsel confirmed that motions have been filed and served on parties.
 
In the suit filed on September 10, the telecom firm is contending that the purported “revenue assets investigation” allegedly carried out by the Nigerian government for the period of 2007 to 2017 violates the Nigerian constitution.
 
Also, the telecom firm is claiming that the government’s decision conveyed through the Office of the AGF by an August 20 letter, violates the provisions of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
 
The firm is seeking a declaration that the AGF acted in excess of its powers by purporting to direct through its letter of May 10 a “self-assessment exercise” which usurps the powers of the Nigerian Customs Service to demand payment of import duties on importation of physical goods.
 
It is also seeking a declaration that the AGF acted illegally by usurping the powers of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to audit and demand remittance of withholding and value added taxes.
 
According to the suit, the telecom firm prayed for a declaration that the AGF’s demand of the sums is premised on a process that is malicious, unreasonable and made on incorrect legal basis.
 
The Central Bank of Nigeria had been at loggerheads with the telecom firm following sanctions over alleged illegal repatriation of funds. The CBN accused MTN Nigeria of improper dividend repatriations and demanded that $8.1 billion be returned “to the coffers of the CBN”.
 
Abubakar Mallami, the Attorney-General of the Federation, in a separate move, also slammed a tax bill on the firm, wherein he accused MTN of unpaid taxes on foreign payments and imports, asking it to pay approximately $2billion in relation to the taxes.
 
According to the CBN, MTN and four banks flouted the “laws and regulations…including the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1995 and the Foreign Exchange Manual, 2006.”
 
The four banks––Standard Chartered Bank, Citi Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Diamond Bank – were subsequently debited. They all denied wrongdoing.
 
Hearing of the new suit has been scheduled for December 3.
 
 
Source: Premium Times
Published in Telecoms
The Federal Government of Nigeria on Wednesday successfully raised
a new $2.86 billion Eurobond.
 
The $2.86 billion however came at a higher interest rate, a move that may put more pressure on the country’s debt servicing to revenue ratios.
 
Analysts are of the belief that the new interest rates may drive rates paid on debts to about 70% of the revenue ratio except government is able to boost its revenue generation.
 
Nigeria at the moment spends an average of N69 of every N100 revenue servicing debts.
 
The completion of the Eurobond transaction is coming after Nigeria’s successful engagement with the Fitch rating agency, and their subsequent decision to change the outlook on the country’s sovereign rating from B+ (negative) to B+ (stable), based on improving macro-economic fundamentals.
 
The new $2.86 borrowing has however pushed Nigeria’s external debt to
$24.9 billion, which is six percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
 
In the new borrowing, the Federal government sold benchmark-sized dollar bonds maturing in 2025, 2031 and 2049, which is equivalent to a 7-year, 12-year and 30-year bonds, at a price higher than its previous issuance.
 
It sold January 2049 (the 30-year bonds) at 9.25 percent compared to the 7.625 percent yield achieved on a 30-year bond a year ago.
 
The federal government also raised a 12-year bond at 8.75 percent
compared with the 7.875 percent achieved on a similar tenor in February and sold the 7-year bond at 7.625 percent.
 
The proceeds of new borrowing is expected to be used to fund the country’s N9.1 trillion ($29.8 billion) budget, which has a deficit of N2.4 trillion.
 
The deficit figure may however increased if government’s
ambitious revenue targets set out in the budget are not achieved.
 
Speaking on the successful completion of transaction, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said: “Nigeria is investing strategically in critical capital projects to bridge our infrastructure deficit, provide a better operating environment for the private sector, and improve the standard of living of our citizens. The proceeds of this issuance will provide critical financing for projects in transportation, power, agriculture, housing, healthcare and education as well as the capital elements of our social investment programmes. Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth plan is delivering results.”
 
 
Source: The Ripples
Published in Bank & Finance
Zimbabwe has invited bids for the state-owned airline as President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government pushes ahead with a drive to privatise and end state funding to loss-making firms, Air Zimbabwe’s administrator said on Monday.
 
Air Zimbabwe, which owes foreign and domestic creditors more than $300 million, was in October placed into administration to try and revive its fortunes.
 
The troubled airline is among dozens of state-owned firms, known locally as parastatals, that are set to be partially or fully privatised in the next nine months as the government seeks to cut its fiscal deficit seen at 11 percent of GDP this year.
 
Air Zimbabwe administrator, Reggie Saruchera said in a notice published in media on Monday that potential investors should make their bids before November 23 after paying a non-refundable deposit of 20,000 dollars.
 
Ms Saruchera did not indicate whether investors would be allowed to tender for partial or total shareholding in Air Zimbabwe. He was not immediately reachable for comment.
 
Only three of Air Zimbabwe’s planes are operational, with another three grounded, which has forced it to abandon international routes.
 
 
(Reuters/NAN)
 
Published in News Economy
Thursday, 15 November 2018 06:51

Oil prices rise as Saudi announces supply cut

Oil prices rose by about one per cent on Monday after top exporter, Saudi Arabia, announced a cut in supply for December.

International benchmark Brent crude oil futures were at 71.11 dollars per barrel at 0051 GMT, up by 93 cents, or 1.3 per cent from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at 60.73 dollars per barrel, up by 54 cents, or 0.9 per cent from their last settlement.

Saudi Arabia plans to reduce oil supply to world markets by 0.5 million barrels per day in December, Khalid al-Falih, its Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resource said on Sunday.

The country faces uncertain prospects in its attempts to persuade other producers to agree to a coordinated output cut.

Khalid al-Falih told reporters that Saudi Aramco’s customer crude oil nominations would fall by 500,000 bpd in December versus November due to seasonal lower demand.

“Saudi Arabia has stepped in front of the oil market bears, proactively announcing they will reduce exports,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage in Oanda in Singapore.

A big concern for Saudi Arabia and other traditional producers from the Middle East-dominated Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is the surge in U.S. output.

 

Source: The Router

Published in Business

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