Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 03 December 2019

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the detention in Lagos of an Airbus aircraft belonging to Emirates Airline over N8.1 million($22,103) judgment debt.

The order was sequel to a motion filed by Dr Charles Mekwunye seeking for the enforcement of a Supreme Court judgment in a suit between Promise Mekwunye and the airline.

The Vanguard reported that Justice Mohammed Liman granted the reliefs sought by Mekwunye.

The judge ruled: “It is accordingly ordered that an attachment is hereby issued on the judgment debtor’s aircraft registered as ‘A6 Aircraft Type 77W EK: 783/784’, or any other aircraft belonging to the judgment debtor which flies into Nigeria Territory, to be arrested and detained until the judgment debt is fully paid: in default after 30 days, the aircraft shall be auctioned to satisfy the judgment debt.”

The judge also ordered that Emirates Airline shall bear the cost of maintenance and custody of the detained aircraft.

Published in Travel & Tourism
Tuesday, 03 December 2019 10:05

Zimbabwe: Zimra Probes Luxury Car Imports

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is investigating a number of car dealers suspected to be using underhand deals to import luxury cars in a scandal that might have cost the country millions of dollars in unpaid taxes.

Zimra believes at least 200 top of the range cars were illegally brought into the country in recent months.

A suspected syndicate involving the tax authority's employees and car dealers is said to have taken advantage of Zimbabwe's transition from the multi-currency system into the mono-currency regime to manipulate the customs clearance procedures.

Since the currency reforms began late last year, Zimra has been charging duty on certain imported cars in foreign currency, while commercial vehicles are charged in local currency.

The authority's loss control department is said to have detected the scam recently where car dealers paid duty for luxury vehicles in local currency or understated their value.

"There are many cars that have been identified as not having been processed procedurally," Zimra said in response to questions from standardbusiness concerning the scandal.

"The authority is still in the process of reconciling [the clearance of high value vehicles]. Our on-going and intensified crackdown on corruption has so far identified more than 200 high value motor vehicles."

Zimra said it was not yet in a position to discuss in detail how the syndicate operated. The authority, however, said it was plugging loopholes in its manual systems.

"Investigations are on-going and because of them, the authority is reluctant to unpack the details of how the fraud was working," Zimra added.

"We can, however, reveal that the syndicate, made up of various players, was taking advantage of a largely manual system.

"Zimra is, however, in the process of automating most of its processes in order to reduce incidents of a similar nature.

"The duty schedules are being compiled and will be available in due course. The revenue at stake will amount to millions of dollars."

Zimra said all the vehicles that were imported illegally will be seized.

"As a matter of policy, Zimra's plans and procedures in the fight against corruption include all irregularities, including but not limited to the improper clearance of motor vehicles," the authority added.

"Already our investigations have unearthed the involvement of car sales dealers."

A number of Zanu PF linked politicians and businesspeople have been importing luxury cars such as Lamborghinis.

The ruling party itself was allegedly investigated by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) after it benefited from a donation of luxury vehicles imported by businessmen with Zanu PF links, including a petroleum mogul in the run-up to last year's elections.

Zacc was alerted that the businessmen did not pay any duty for the large fleet, but the investigation reached a dead end after Zanu PF rushed to pay the taxes only a couple of weeks ago.

Several Zimra officers were arrested at the Plumtree border post recently for their allegedly involvement in a syndicate that illegally imported over 50 vehicles without paying duty.

Smuggling at Zimbabwe's points of entry is rife due to rampant corruption.

 

Source: Zimbabwe Standard

Published in Economy

Pope Francis on Sunday urged people to resist the excesses of consumerism in the period leading up to Christmas, calling it a virus that attacks faith and offends the needy.

“When you live for things, things are never enough, greed grows, other people become obstacles in a race,” he said in the homily of a Mass, decrying that in many places in the world today “consumerism reigns supreme.”

Francis spoke between the two biggest shopping days of the year in rich countries such as the United States – Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Online sales in the United States reached $7.4 billion on Friday, up nearly 20% from last year.

The pope said “consumerism is a virus that corrodes faith” because it makes people forget “the brother who knocks at your door”.

He urged people to “resist the blinding lights of consumerism, which will shine everywhere this month” leading up to Christmas.

Published in Business

Namibia’s incumbent President Hage Geingob has won the 2019 presidential election with 56.3% of the vote, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) said on Saturday, surviving the country’s biggest corruption scandal, an economic recession and a fractured ruling party.

Geingob, Namibia’s third leader since the sparsely populated and mostly arid country freed itself from the shackles of apartheid South Africa in 1990, was seeking a second and final term in the Nov. 27 election.

First elected in 2014 with 87% of the vote, Geingob garnered 56.3% and avoided a potential re-run against a member of his own party, Panduleni Itula, who was running as an independent.

Itula, a dentist-turned-politician, trailed behind with 29.4% of the vote, and the leader of the official opposition party, McHenry Venaani, was in third position with 5.3%.

Geingob told cheering crowds that he was proud that the elections were free and fair.

“I am just a proud Namibian that we could have free and fair elections, no fighting, no attacking each other, free movement was allowed,” said Geingob.

In the legislative vote to choose 96 members of parliament, the ruling party lost its two-thirds majority after the ruling party secured 63 seats, down from 77 seats, while the official opposition party, Venaani’s Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) party, will hold 16 seats, improving from its 2014 total of five in the legislative chamber.

Opposition leader Venaani told Reuters that they were considering approaching the courts over “anomalies and irregularities” during the election.

The ECN had previously said the vote-tallying would take 48 hours, but it announced the winner after 72 hours, raising concerns over the potential for vote rigging.

A sputtering economy, one of Namibia’s worst-ever droughts and the biggest corruption scandal in its history have weighed on support for Geingob.

 

Reuters

Published in Economy

Egypt is hosting a new round of talks with Ethiopia and Sudan on a disputed dam built by Ethiopia on the Nile, as part of an agreement reached in Washington in November.

The agreement was reached in Washington last month to break the deadlock in their long-standing row over the river’s critical water supply.

The water ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan are meeting on Monday and Tuesday for talks on the rules of operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and filling its reservoir.

Ethiopia began building the 4.8-billion-dollar hydroelectric Grand Renaissance Dam in 2010, seeking to be Africa’s biggest power exporter.

Egypt relies almost exclusively on the Nile for farming, industry and domestic water use and fears that the dam will harm its supply.

However, Ethiopia calls Egypt’s worries baseless.

The Cairo-hosted talks are the second of four rounds agreed in Washington in November, during negotiations attended by the Foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan, as well as representatives of the U.S. government and the World Bank.

The third meeting in Khartoum is set to be decided following the conclusion of Monday and Tuesday’s meetings.

A fourth meeting will then be held in January in Addis Ababa, before a meeting of the foreign and water ministers of the three countries in Washington in mid-January 2020.

Published in World

The World Bank has said the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty may increase by more than 30 million by 2030 and the country will be home to 25 per cent of the world’s destitute people if the government fails to revive economic growth and create jobs.

It warned that the country could slide back into recession if crude prices fell by 25 per cent to $50 a barrel.

The international oil benchmark, Brent crude, traded around $61 per barrel on Monday.

The bank gave the warning in its 2019 Nigeria Economic Update Report, which was released on Monday.

It said, “Economic and demographic projections highlight the urgent need for reform.

“With population growth (estimated at 2.6 per cent) outpacing economic growth in a context of weak job creation, per capita income is falling. Today, an estimated 100 million Nigerians live on less than $1.90 per day.

“Close to 80 per cent of poor households are in northern Nigeria, while employment creation and income gains have been concentrated on central and southern Nigeria.”

According to the report, Nigeria’s economy is expected to grow by 2.1 per cent in 2020 and 2021, compared to an annual population growth rate of 2.6 per cent.

It noted that Nigeria’s economy was recovering gradually from the 2016 recession, with growth projected to pick up from 1.9 per cent in 2018 to two per cent in 2019.

The World Bank, however, warned that the projected growth outlook “is vulnerable to external and domestic risks, including geopolitical and trade tensions that may affect inflows of private investment.”

“Nigeria has the opportunity to advance reforms to mitigate these risks amid growing public demand for greater economic opportunities,” it said.

The World Bank urged President Muhammadu Buhari to increase domestic revenue, remove trade restrictions and improve the predictability of economic policy.

It also advised the Nigerian government to remove expensive fuel subsidies and reduce lending to targeted sectors “that crowd out banks.”

Failure to take actions would see more Nigerians falling into extreme poverty, the bank warned.

“The cost of inaction is significant. Under a business-as-usual scenario, where Nigeria maintains the current pace of growth and employment levels, by 2030, the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty could increase by more than 30 million,” the bank said.

About 50 per cent of Nigeria’s almost 200 million people live in poverty, according to the World Bank.

Last year, Nigeria overtook India as the country with the highest number of people in extreme poverty.

A report by the Brookings Institution said data from the World Poverty Clock showed that Nigeria had over 87 million people living in poverty.

The World Bank report, titled ‘Jumpstarting Inclusive Growth: Unlocking the Productive Potential of Nigeria’s People and Resource Endowments’, showed that Nigeria created about 450,000 new (net) jobs in 2018, partially offsetting the loss of 700,000 jobs in the previous year.

“Nigeria’s labour force is growing rapidly, and in 2018, over five million Nigerians entered the labour market, resulting in 4.9 million more unemployed people in the last year,” it said.

The report stated that “positive news are emerging from some states that are creating enough jobs to keep up with the growth of their labour forces.”

It said, “In the year following the recession (between the first quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018), 10 states saw some positive job creation, but the number of new jobs was not enough to absorb the new entrants into the labour force.

“The situation improved by the third quarter of 2018, as four states (Lagos, Rivers, Enugu, and Ondo) created more jobs than the entrants to the labour market, and as a result, these states reduced unemployment.”

According to the report, the signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement shows that Nigeria is now more willing to become a driver of continental growth and integration.

The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, said, “Reforms would help achieve faster, more inclusive, and sustained growth with jobs.

“Building on recent efforts, going forward, we recommend actions in priority areas, such as increasing fiscal revenues and improving the quality of spending to manage oil-sector volatility, investing in much-needed human capital and infrastructure, and improving the business climate to unlock private investment and tackle Nigeria’s jobs challenge.

“Investing in people and removing barriers that make it difficult for new firms to compete and grow will encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, spur job growth, and ultimately reduce poverty.”

Published in News Economy

South Africa’s Vodacom Group and MTN Group could face prosecution if they do not agree with the Competition Commission in the next two months to lower data prices, the watchdog said in findings from an inquiry published on Monday.

The data services inquiry was launched in August 2017 in response to a request from the minister of economic Development and after complaints from consumers about high data costs.

In its final report, the Commission recommended that the two mobile operators must independently reach agreement with the competition watchdog on substantial reductions on tariff levels, especially prepaid monthly bundles, within two months of the release of the report.

It said the preliminary evidence suggests that there is scope for price reductions in the region of 30% to 50%.

The mobile operators must also reach agreement “to cease ongoing partitioning and price discrimination strategies that may facilitate greater exploitation of market power and anti-poor pricing.”

“With respect to the above recommendations on the level and structure of pricing, should an operator fail to reach the required agreements with the Commission within the specified timeframes, the Commission will proceed to prosecution under the appropriate sections of the Act,” The Commission said in a summary of its report.

 

Credit: Reuters

Published in Telecoms
  1. Opinions and Analysis

Calender

« December 2019 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31