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Economy

Revenue: NCS rakes in N5.5 bn daily—Controller General

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said on Thursday in Lagos that, its revenue generation has increased to the region of N5.5 billion daily.

The Comptroller-General (CGC) Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) made this known during a working visit to the headquarters of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) in Lagos.

The CGC, who was represented at the event by the Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) and Customs Coordinator in-charge of Zone A, Mr Kaycee Ekekezie, said that the feat was made possible as a result of the automation of customs operations at the ports.

According to the customs boss, the increase in revenue generation has helped in the prompt payment of salaries of workers of the NCS and made the organisation a critical contributor to the nation’s treasury in terms of revenue generation.

“The automation of the customs system at ports and borders has made it easy for the service to block revenue leakages and meet targets.

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“The system has made transaction in ports user friendly while eliminating human contact and its attendant frictions in the cargo transaction business,’’ Ali said.

The customs helmsman, who charged the freight forwarders on trade compliance, said that sincere declaration and truthful documentation would aid both the customs and the forwarders to achieve a common goal of trade facilitation devoid of cargo delays.

The NAGAFF Founder, Dr Boniface Aniebona, who hosted the occasion in his remarks at the event, asked port users to help the NCS by adhering to trade compliance.

He said that such drive would foster good relationship with the customs personnel.

Aniebona aid that as an association they would begin the sanitation from within, by exposing and sanctioning erring members in order to maintain the good relationship with the customs.

Uchenna Eletuo: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Foreign

Tea industry in northeast India to suffer loss of 284 million USD in revenue

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NEW DELHI, May 25 (Xinhua)– The tea industry in two northeast Indian states, West Bengal and Assam, is expected to suffer a loss in revenue of more than Rs 2100 crore (about 284 million U.S. dollars) based on last year’s North India auction prices,” the Indian Tea Association (ITA) said on Monday.

ITA said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tea production has dipped by a whopping 65 percent in the past two months.

“Based on feedback received from ITA member gardens, it is estimated that in Assam and West Bengal, the total loss in production for the months of March, April and May would be around 140 million kg,” it said.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 has further aggravated the financial stress of the tea industry. While input costs in the last five years have increased a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 7 to 10 percent, the growth in prices has been only one percent, resulting in a large number of tea estates incurring losses,” it added.

The industry has urged the Indian Commerce Ministry as well as the State Governments of Assam and West Bengal to extend a financial package to the tea sector in terms of interest subvention and relief in payment of electricity charges and etc.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

S. Korea: Consumption, small merchants’ revenues rise amid emergency handouts spending

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shows a traditional market in Incheon, west of Seoul, where many people shop around as the government has begun to provide emergency relief funds to all households due to the new coronavirus. (Yonhap)

In a one-off aid programme, the government began offering the relief funds totaling 14.3 trillion won (US$11.6 billion) to all households last week to help them cope with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mom-and-pop shops still are suffering from business setbacks due to the pandemic, but their revenues showed signs of recovery as more people have begun to use the money, data showed.

An index gauging the average sales of small merchants reached 100 in the second week of May, the same as in the previous year, according to the Korea Credit Data (KCD), a provider of sales management platform to small firms.

The data was tallied based on consumers’ card spending.

People can use the emergency funds through either credit and debit cards or certificates by end-August.

Small merchants’ sales almost recovered to last year’s level for the first time since the government raised its alert against COVID-19 to the highest level in late February, according to the data.

“The emergency relief funds appear to affect consumption.

“This week, the impact is likely to be larger,” KCD chief Kim Dong-ho said.

An average of their revenues last week surpassed those tallied the previous year in areas such as Gyeonggi Province that surrounds Seoul and South Gyeongsang Province.

The southeastern city of Daegu, once the epicenter of the virus outbreak here, and Seoul, meanwhile, saw small merchants’ sales almost recover to last year’s level, the data showed.

The South Korean economy shrank 1.4 per cent on-quarter in the first quarter as the coronavirus outbreak dented consumer spending and exports. Private consumption declined 6.4 per cent on-quarter in the cited period.

South Koreans are using the relief funds at various locations ranging from small supermarkets, restaurants and beauty salons to traditional markets.

According to data compiled by three major convenient stores, demand for daily necessities and goods that are relatively expensive at such outlets increased after the government handed out the relief funds.

Sales of fruit, vegetables and foodstuff rose an average of 15 per cent over last weekend from a week earlier, according to the convenience store chain CU.

Sales of wine logged the fastest growth of 23.3 per cent among liquors.

“Smaller merchants and the self-employed are expected to see an improvement in business on the back of slowed virus spread and the emergency payout,” the Ministry of SMEs and Startups said in a statement.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

 

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Foreign

Tech giant Xiaomi reports 13.6 pct revenue growth in Q1

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China‘s tech giant Xiaomi reported 13.6 percent year-on-year revenue growth in the first quarter of 2020 despite the COVID-19 epidemic.

Its total revenue in the January-March period totaled 49.7 billion yuan (about 7 billion U.S. dollars), the Beijing-headquartered company announced Wednesday in its quarterly financial report.

Adjusted net profit for the period was 2.3 billion yuan, up 10.6 percent year on year.

Revenue from the overseas markets amounted to 24.8 billion yuan, up 47.8 percent year on year and accounting for half of its total revenue, Xiaomi said.

Its smartphone shipments in western Europe increased by 79.3 percent year on year, attaining the largest market share in Spain for the first time, Xiaomi cited data from technology market research firm Canalys as saying.

Benefiting from the continued expansion in its global smartphone market share, the monthly active users of Xiaomi’s Android-based smartphone operating system MIUI increased to 330.7 million, a year-on-year increase of 26.7 percent.

(XINHUA)

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Economy

Revenue commission`s new secretary assumes office – Official

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Mr Bello Shehu, the newly appointed Secretary to Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday assumed duty.

Mr Nwachukwu Christian, Head of Public Relations of the commission, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Chairman of the Commission, Mr Elias Mbam, on behalf of the management and Staff of the Commission congratulated and welcomed Shehu to his new office.

Mbam assured the new secretary of the unalloyed support and cooperation of members and staff of the Commission in the discharge of his responsibilities.

He further expressed his hope that Shehu would use his wide range of experiences locally and internationally to boost the Commission’s efforts to generating and monitoring the nation’s revenue.

In his response, Shehu appreciated the management of the commission while expressing his readiness to work with the management, staff and members of RMAFC.

He promised to use his expertise in both formal and informal sectors to serve the commission in particular and Nigeria in general.

Bello Shehu was born in 1964 in Zaria, Kaduna State. After his primary education with Local Education Authority, he proceeded to Barewa College Zaria, where he obtained his SSCE in 1979.

He gained admission to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, from where he graduated with BA. (Ed) in 1987 thereafter he furthered his academic pursuit at Colorado State University Pueblo, USA, and graduated with a degree in Industrial science technology.

He also proceeded to the Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State where he obtained his Master Degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies.

Shehu started his working career as a primary school teacher with the Kaduna State Civil Service and rose to the rank of Head of Department, Government College Kaduna.

He letter went into private sector where he became a seasoned Banker with Union Bank PLC. He was the Vice Chairman, BSI Technology USA and later Director, Gams and Bell Nigeria Ltd.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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Economy

FSDH Merchant Bank to work with Lagos State on revenue collection — Official

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FSDH Merchant Bank says it has been enlisted into the Lagos State Electronic Banking System of Revenue Collection and Monitoring (EBSRCM).

Ms Stella Marie-Omogbai, FSDH Divisional Head, Corporate Banking and the Branches, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos on Sunday.

Marie-Omogbai said the Lagos State Government approved the bank’s application to be included in the State’s EBSRCM in March.

“On March 30, 2020, the Lagos State Government approved the Merchant Bank’s application to be included in Lagos State’s Electronic Banking System of Revenue Collection and Monitoring (EBSRCM).

“This feat is yet another first for FSDH Merchant Bank, as it is now the first Merchant Bank to be granted this application in Nigeria,” Marie-Omogbai stated.

According to her, with this enlistment, the bank will be able to process the following taxes: Land Use Charge bills (LUC) and Lagos Water Corporation bills (LWC).

She said that with the approval, the bank would process Central Billing System such as LASTMA bills, VIO bills and Education Board bills, among others.

Marie-Omogbai said that the enlistment would enable the bank to process WebGUID (these are non-billed payments where the customer or the teller generates the payment code e.g. PAYE, Direct Assessment, Dev. Levy, etc.)

FSDH is also the pioneer Custom Duty Collecting Bank in Nigeria.

“It is the first Merchant Bank in Nigeria to re-structure into a Holding Company and in November 2012, became the first Discount House to become a Merchant Bank in Nigeria.

“Providing corporate banking, prestige banking and global markets financing solutions, FSDH Merchant Bank continues to deliver expert and timely financial services within Nigeria and to select clientele, with a goal to succeed together.

“The Merchant Bank was rated A and A- for the year 2019 by prestigious agencies like Agusto & Co. Limited and Global Credit Ratings Co.

“These ratings were given based on the bank’s sustained record of good capitalization, good liquidity, good profitability and an experienced management team.

“Even amidst a crisis, FSDH Merchant Bank continues to find ways to innovate in the Nigerian financial services industry,” she said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

 

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Economy

Customs Command at Tin-Can Port generates N117.8bn revenue in 4 months

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tin-Can Island Port Command, Lagos, generated N117.8 billion between January and April 2020, by deploying Time Release Study (TRS) tool to aid trade facilitation and revenue generation.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Musa Abdullahi, made this known in Lagos on Friday in a statement signed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Uche Ejesieme.

Abdullahi said that the tool had enabled the command to generate the revenue in the first quarter of the year.

According to him, the Time Release Study tool was beefed up for strategic planning in determining the actual time required for the release and clearance of goods, right from the time of arrival to physical release from Customs’ Control.

Abdullahi said that Time Release Study was a strategic tool that was capable of identifying bottlenecks in the trade value chain and creating an enabling environment for effectiveness and efficiency in operations.

“It is on the strength of this and other parameters that the command generated a total of N117, 839, 418, 332.16 between January and April in spite of the global pandemic which has posed a great challenge.

“The figure is against the sum of N106,644,643,917.25 generated same period in 2019, reflecting a difference of N11,194,774,414.91,’’ he said.

The controller responded to issues bothering on challenges amidst the COVID-19.

He reiterated the readiness of the command to ensure adherence and compliance with the extant protocols by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO) toward containing the spread of the virus.

Abdullahi noted that prior to the declaration of the virus as a pandemic disease, the command had conducted series of seminars and awareness campaign, targeted at sensitising the officers/men as well as stakeholders on measures to adopt in dealing with the menace.

According to him, these measures will be sustained even after the postCOVID-19 era.

“Even at the onset of this pandemic when pressure, anxiety and general apprehension was the order of the day, the command demonstrated resilience, sagacity and compassion in its approach to the novel pandemic.

“Such that tension was reduced from the psyche of the operatives with confidence inspired that enabled them to attend to their functions without let or hindrance.

“With this pandemic, the command will upscale her sensitisation on the need for Nigerians to fully take advantage of the operations in export trade, especially at this moment when it has become compelling for diversification of the economy for national development,” the controller said.

Abdullahi said that with the Time Release Study tool, the command had generated statistical data on the actual time declarations were made, up till the time of release from Customs’ Control.

He noted that it was on the basis of this that the command realised that the NCS was only involved in two major functions in the Trade Value Chain – Examination and Release of Cargo from Customs’ Control.

He pointed out that the commitment of the command necessitated the need to work assiduously toward ensuring that all operational bottlenecks were removed from the value chain for effectiveness and efficiency in accordance with global standards.

“The command will continue to support and encourage the culture of compliance with fiscal and monetary policies, while also rewarding compliant traders.

“We have developed a framework and different layers for channelling of official complaints, including the Help Desk for speedy resolution of trade disputes.

“Efforts are also being made to ensure continuous `Stakeholder Engagement’ and collaboration for the actualisation of the joint responsibilities of creating a friendly business environment that will encourage trade and investments as well as boost the morale of stakeholders,” Abdullahi said.

The controller noted that in spite of the few challenges mitigating against performance, the command would not `let its guards down’ in the pursuance of its official mandate.

He appreciated the support and counsel from the Customs management led by Retired Col. Hameed Ali and his management.

The controller applauded the renewed enthusiasm of the officers and men which was reflected in the operational profile of the command.

He commended heads of security and regulatory agencies in the port for their consistent efforts in supporting the command in realising its statutory mandate.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Foreign

Roundup: German finance ministry expects tax revenues to fall by 81.5 bln euros in 2020

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Germany would have 81.5 billion euros (88 billion U.S. dollars) less tax revenues in 2020 than last year, the German Ministry of Finance announced on Thursday.

However, the coronavirus crisis would be financially manageable despite the loss of taxes and remaining uncertainties “thanks to the good budgetary policy of recent years,” said Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.

The government had adopted a range of measures to help companies and employees during the coronavirus crisis, for example, by increasing financial support for short-time work or providing loans for companies and businesses.

“All these measures were important and right. All these measures have an impact on the tax revenues of the state,” the ministry noted. The expected tax losses in 2020 would be caused by a drop in company profits, a drop in sales as well as an increase in short-time work caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Furthermore, part of the expected tax decline was due to the fact that the government had introduced regulations on tax deferrals and loss carryback that aimed at reducing the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany, according to the ministry.

“These measures will have a positive effect in the following years, as the additional liquidity of many companies secured their continued existence and thus tax revenues,” the ministry noted.

For 2021, the ministry estimated that tax revenues in Germany could increase again by 10.4 percent to 792.5 billion euros.

“We have invested a lot of tax money to help employees and companies through this difficult time,” stressed Scholz. The next step would be to use targeted measures to get the economy moving again, “so that industry, trade and commerce can get back into business better.”

The Federation of German Industries (BDI) noted on Thursday that the tax estimates confirmed “our gloomy expectations.”

“Large parts of the public budgets are collapsing,” said Joachim Lang, head of the BDI. In this situation, tax increases and capital levies would be the “absolute wrong way to compensate for these extraordinary revenues shortfalls.”

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Germany bracing for €81.5bn drop in 2020 tax revenues

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Germany expects to collect 81.5 billion euros (87.9 billion dollars) less in tax revenues in 2020 compared to 2019, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday.

This is a 10-per-cent drop and means that federal, state and district authorities will have 98.6 billion euros less to spend than forecast in November, as the coronavirus pandemic tears up the country’s previous budgets.

It is the first time that state coffers are expected to decline in Europe’s biggest economy since 2009 during the financial crash.

In calculating its estimate, the Finance Ministry put the cost of the government’s coronavirus aid measures at 453.4 billion euros in 2020 alone.

This, not including an additional 800 billion euros in loans that may have to be extended if struggling companies are unable to meet their credit obligations.

IAA

Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

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Foreign

German payments company Wirecard posts higher revenues in Q1

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Revenues of the German payments company Wirecard increased by 24 percent year-on-year to 700.2 million euros (756.7 million U.S. dollars) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, it said on Thursday.

“We have made a good start to the new financial year. However, the COVID-19 effects had a negative impact on our airline and travel business,” said Alexander von Knoop, chief financial officer (CFO) of Wirecard.

According to the preliminary figures, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose by around 26 percent year-on-year to 199.2 million euros in Q1. Wirecard had “succeeded in boosting its earnings as expected.”

According to von Knoop, Wirecard had been able to “largely offset” the effects of the coronavirus pandemic by growth in its online business in the consumer and digital goods sectors. “Our new customer business continues to develop strongly,” he said.

For the fiscal year of 2020, Wirecard’s management board confirmed its forecast and expected EBITDA between 1 billion to 1.12 billion euros. (1 euro = 1.08 U.S. dollars)

(XINHUA)

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General news

Assembly passes Delta Internal Revenue Service Bill

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The Delta House of Assembly has passed the state Internal Revenue Service Bill.
This followed the adoption of the report of the House Joint Committee on Special Bills and Public Account during plenary on Wednesday in Asaba.
Presenting the report the Chairman Mr Tim Owhefere said the committee met with relevant stakeholders during the assignment in order to ensure that a good bill was passed.
”Throughout the duration of the committee sessions, the bill was carefully scrutinised clause by clause from its long title to the last part,” he said.
Owhefere, who is also the Majority Leader of the House, said that though there was an existing law regarding revenue generation in the state, there was need to enact a new law that would help to put the revenue practice of the state in line with global practices.
” The bill is timely, especially at this crucial time when the price of crude oil has drastically dropped.
“In order to survive the present economic situation of the country, there is need to build the state’s revenue base by establishing a viable internal revenue service board.
‘The bill when passed into law, will give legal backing for the board to have full autonomy over its operations.
‘The board will have a complete oversight of everything that has to do with the payment of taxes, levies among others.This law when passed will help to push the people of the state to willingly pay their taxes,” he said.
Owhefere, however, moved a motion to suspend Order 12, Rules 77, 78 and 79 of the state assembly to enable the house take the third reading and passage of the bill.

The motion, which was unanimously adopted by the House when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, was seconded by Mr Emmanuel Sinebe, representing Patani Constituency.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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Foreign

Bulgarian hotels see steep decline in occupancy, revenue in March

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Bulgarian hotels and motels have seen a nearly 60-percent drop in occupancy and revenue in March amid the coronavirus pandemic, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said Monday.

The total number of nights spent in accommodation establishments in March 2020 was 381,000, 56.4 percent less than in the same month of the previous year, the NSI said.

The number of arrivals decreased by 62.4 percent year-on-year to 162,500, the NSI said, adding that foreign visitors dropped 64.7 percent and that of Bulgarians 61.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the total revenue from nights spent in March 2020 reached 21.1 million Bulgarian leva (11.7 million U.S. dollars), 56.6 percent less year-on-year.

“A decline in revenues for both foreigners by 57.9 percent and Bulgarians by 55.5 percent was registered,” the NSI said.

Bulgaria declared a state of emergency on March 13 to curb the spread of COVID-19. Since then, a number of anti-COVID-19 measures have been taken, such as closing bars, restaurants, sports facilities, schools and universities, as well as suspending mass events.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Nigeria assures investors of forex repatriation amid dwindling oil revenues

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Nigeria on Sunday assured investors of the safety of their investments in the country despite dwindling revenues from the sale of crude oil globally.

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who gave the assurance in Abuja, the nation’s capital, said the bank had put in place policies to ensure an orderly exit for those that might be interested in doing so.

The apex bank governor said investors interested in repatriating their funds from the country are guaranteed to get their money, notwithstanding the drop in the revenue from crude oil.

Emefiele urged investors to be patient as such repatriations are being processed, owing to the bank’s policy of orderly exit of investments.

Recalling a similar situation back in 2015 over declining revenue, the governor said the central bank is able to settle all commitments in an orderly manner.

(XINHUA)

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Politics

Gov. Akeredolu constitutes Revenue Board, makes new appointments

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Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has approved the constitution of the Board of the State Internal Revenue Services and new appointments with some portfolios to strengthen the state service delivery.

This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday by his Chief Press Secretary, Segun Ajiboye.

The new board members includes: Tolu Adegbie as Chairman, Jumoke Falade (Ministry of Finance) and Stephen Aworere (Budget and Planning), Olayato Aribo and Segun Odusanya (Local Govt and Chieftaincy) as board members.

Others are: Adeola Abiodun, Esq (Ministry of Justice), Femi Feyide (State Revenue Service), Olusegun Enikuomehin (State Revenue Service), Idowu Adesioye, Shadrack Olowojuni as members and Uche Anabui (State Revenue Services) as the board Secretary.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the board members were pick from relevant ministries that can drive the state revenue force.

According to the statement, Akeredolu has also approved the elevation of Mrs Omorinola Olanipekun to the position of Senior Special Assistant (Cooperative Matters) from that of Special Assistant.

He equally made the following new appointments: Olatubosun Agaun Esq – Senior Special Assistant (Community Development), Afolabi Adesoji-Senior – Special Assistant (Community Development)

Others are: Omosehin Richard Omoniyi – Senior Special Assistant (Community Development), Olanike Olawoye – Senior Special Assistant (Markets), Smart Omodunbi, (Special Assistant to the Governor)

The governor congratulated the new appointees just as he urged them to be diligent in the discharge of their duties.

 

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Economy

Covid-19: Kaduna Govt. loses N6 billion in revenue due to closure of markets

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Mr Muhammad Bayero, the Managing Director, Kaduna Market Management and Development Company (KMDMC), on Monday, said the state had lost N6 billion in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the last one month.

Addressing a news conference in Kaduna, Bayero said that the lockdown imposed as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic had taken a negative toll on the state’s IGR from its major markets

According to him, the creation of alternative neighborhood markets in some public primary and secondary schools was to ease the hardship occasioned by the lockdown.

He said that the purpose of the markets was to allow people stock up food items and other essential commodities on the two days the government relaxed the lockdown.

Bayero said that the government would continue to ensure strict compliance with the social distancing order in the neighborhood markets to prevent the transmission of the virus.

“Not fewer than seven security personnel will be at all the neighborhood markets to ensure social distancing, anybody going into the market will also have their temperatures screened.

“The markets will provide essentials items to the community at close quarters; to ensure total adherence to the lockdown order, the markets are situated not more than one kilometer from every community,’’ he said.

The official warned that anybody found violating the social distancing order or trying to constitute nuisance in the markets would be severely dealt with.

“It is better to endure the lockdown for three months than for one year. The people of Kaduna should support the government initiative in defeating the virus; irresponsibility would only amount to longer lockdown,” Bayero said.

Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Economy

Dwindling revenue: Foundation lauds FG’s will to implement Oronsaye Report

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The Amaka Chiwuike-Uba Foundation (ACUF), has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for giving the nod to implement the Oronsaye Report of 2014.

The Board Chairman of ACUF, Dr Chiwuike Uba gave the commendation in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday in Enugu.

Uba, an economist, noted that approval for the “implementation of the Report is a desirable one’’, considering the would-be benefits, especially now that the country was faced with many challenges and financial short flow.

According to him, the challenges included the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, dwindling revenue, rising public debt, over-bloated and non-committed public service, high poverty rate, inflation, debt service obligations, fiscal deficit, and corruption.

Uba, however, expressed concern that it would be difficult to implement most of the recommendations as they had been overtaken by time, especially as the government had created new Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) after the Report was submitted.

He said that the best approach would have been to review the structure of the public service and governance structure, in line with current realities, policy, economic thrust and revenue profile of the government to promote socio-economic growth and sustainability.

“Implementing the report as it is would create both budget and legal issues on agencies created by law.

“In addition to creating biased political considerations in implementation, merger of MDAs would create conflicts occasioned by bureaucracy and hierarchy in the civil service structure.

“Who heads departments and units when MDAs are merged would be an issue to contend with’’.

Uba alleged that in addition to having many MDAs that act as conduit pipes for siphoning funds, the civil service was overstaffed with ghost workers, in spite of government’s efforts to weed the system of such workers.

He added that the incidence of ghost workers contributed immensely to the culture of corruption, cronyism, and foot-dragging.

“Government can channel money to be saved from rationalisation (mergers and scrapping of MDAs and staff retrenchment) to building infrastructure, social sectors, and support to start-ups and existing businesses.

Uba said that internal and external challenges would naturally militate against the execution of Buhari’s approval for the implementation.

“Retrenching of staff comes with huge costs: severance pay, gratuity and pensions, resistance from the labour unions, and even costs associated with movements,’’ he said.

Uba, however, said that there were several options of solution open to the government if the implementation would succeed in the near future.

He recommended: “first, it is important to have another committee comprising technocrats, industry players, and the politicians that will, in consultation with the Presidential Economic Advisory Council, review the report in line with the present economic and development thrust of the government.

“This review should be made taking into consideration the current financial and economic realities and projected development and sustainability of the Nigerian economy.

“In addition to the above, the government needs to scrap, without further delay, the MDAs that have little or no impact on Nigeria’s everyday lives.

“Some of these MDAs include the National Space Research and Development Agency, the Defence Space Administration, and Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited which costs Nigerian billions of naira annually.

“I doubt if we still need a bicameral legislature with full-time legislators.

“We also need to embrace and deploy ICT in the management of the country’s overall operations.’’

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Ese E. Ekama (NAN)

 

 

 

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Foreign

Apple reports 58.3bn dollar revenue beating analysts’ expectations 

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Technology giant Apple reported 58.3 billion dollars in revenue for its second fiscal quarter on Thursday, indicating a 1-per-cent increase in revenue compared with last year,  thus beating wide-spread analyst projections.

“Despite COVID-19’s unprecedented global impact, we’re proud to report that Apple grew for the quarter, driven by an all-time record in Services and a quarterly record for Wearables,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said.

Purchases of Apple services, including application purchases, iCloud storage, Apple TV and Apple Music subscriptions, rose from 11.5 to 13.3 billion dollars, versus the same period last year.

Meanwhile revenue from so-called wearables, including Apple Watch and AirPods rose from 5.1 to 6.3 billion dollars.

The iPhone remains the company’s cash cow at 29 billion dollars in sales revenue, a nearly 2.1-billion-dollar decrease from the 2019 second fiscal quarter.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Economy

Kwara Govt. to focus on high-impact projects as revenue dwindles

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The Kwara Commissioner for Finance, Florence Olayemi, says the state Government will now focus on projects with immediate impacts on the well-being of the people, including social investment programmes, healthcare, and school rehabilitation.

 

 

Oyeyemi said this while speaking with newsmen in Ilorin on Thursday against the backdrop of the just concluded budget review sessions across the Ministries, Department, and Agencies, (MDAs) in the state.

 

According  to her,  Kwara government is aligning its spendings with available resources in the face of dwindling federal allocation and internally generated revenue (IGR).

 

 

“The focus will now be on projects that would have instant impacts on the living standard of the masses.

 

“There will be cut in the cost of governance, especially overhead costs and some capital projects,” the Commissioner said.

 

She linked the revenue drop to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the recent oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia,

 

Oyeyemi added that the review means that there would be sizeable cut in overhead cost and capital projects in line with the economic realities.

 

 

“We had a budget of N162.84billion for 2020. But it is clear now that our allocation and what we expected will no longer be feasible, it is better we cut our coat according to the available cloth.

 

 

“All we are doing now is preserving the state’s wealth to take care of major expenses of the state like first line expenses – salaries and taking care of the poor and provide for the completion of the ongoing projects.

 

 

“The area that we will still look into is education sector because we will be providing alternative for classroom learning.

 

 

“Also, the present administration has embarked on several water projects, which must not stop because at such a time like this, our people need potable water.

 

 

“As a government, we have decided to reduce the cost of governance and there will be a sizeable reduction in our overhead cost to focus on other pressing areas,” she said.

 

 

The Commissioner said the report from the budget review is being collated to a whole document that Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq will then forward to the House of Assembly for passage.

 

 

Oyeyemi said that the state government has resolved to release federal allocation figures and IGR on a quarterly basis to coincide with the statutory issuance of quarterly budget implementation report.

 

 

“In this wise, the $5million  (N1.8billion) that we have just received on Monday on account of our compliance with the World Bank-assisted State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability for Result (SFTAS), will be captured in the second quarter budget implementation report as required under the law,” she said.

 

 

She added that the budget implementation report for the first quarter of 2020 will be out next week.

Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)

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Boeing reports first-quarter revenue decline, plans to cut workforce, production

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Boeing on Wednesday reported a loss of 641 million U.S. dollars in the first quarter, along with plans to cut its workforce and aircraft production amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the 737 MAX grounding.

The company announced its financial results for the first quarter with revenues of 16.9 billion dollars, and 1.11 dollars GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) loss per share, compared with 22.9 billion dollars, and 3.75 dollars earnings per share in the same period of 2019.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ first-quarter revenue was 6.2 billion dollars, compared with 11.8 billion dollars a year ago, according to the company’s report.

“The pandemic is also delivering a body blow to our business, affecting airline customer demand, production continuity and supply chain stability,” Boeing president and CEO David Calhoun said in a letter to employees.

Boeing updated its production rate assumptions to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on its operations and demand outlook. The 787 aircraft production rate will be reduced from 14 per month to 10 per month in 2020, before being gradually reduced to seven per month by 2022. The 777/777X combined production rate will be reduced to three per month in 2021.

The 737 MAX aircraft production will resume at low rates in 2020 and gradually increase to 31 per month during 2021, with further gradual increases to correspond with market demand, the company said.

Boeing has begun taking action to lower its workforce by roughly 10 percent through a combination of voluntary layoffs, natural turnover and involuntary layoffs.

“That is 10 percent in total for the enterprise. We’ll have to make even deeper reductions in areas that are most exposed to the condition of our commercial customers — more than 15 percent across our commercial airplanes and services businesses, as well as our corporate functions,” Calhoun said in the letter.

(XINHUA)

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Finnair’s Q1 revenue declines by 16 pct from last year

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Finnish national carrier Finnair reported on Wednesday that its Q1 revenue decreased by 16.0 percent to 561.2 million euros (608.9 million U.S. dollars), compared to the 668.2 million euros of the same period last year. The company said it operates now on a two million-euro daily loss.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Finnair now flies only a small network to maintain essential connections between Finland and other European countries. It is also using its AB 350 fleet for cargo flight services to Asia.

Finnair said on Wednesday that it is planning a 500 million value stock issue “to secure its competitiveness in the future”. The state of Finland is a 55 percent majority owner of Finnair. Following the Finnair announcement on Wednesday morning, a government press release confirmed state support for the issue plan.

Finnair CEO Topi Manner said in a press release that the current Finnair cash liquidity is 833 million. Manner said Finnair has secured its cash position beyond the first half of 2021, even if the current situation extends. Finnair has not yet used a state guaranteed 600 million loan facility.

Finnair expects that flight connections will start recovering from July this year. Restoration to the 2019 conditions would take two or three years, however, said the company. (1 euro = 1.09 U.S. dollars)

(XINHUA)

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Sri Lankan port operator expects 50% revenue drop in April due to COVID-19

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Sri Lanka’s state-owned port operator Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) faces a loss in revenue of up to 13 million U.S. dollars in April due to COVID-19, local media reported here Tuesday.

SLPA Chairman General Daya Ratnayake told local media that the SLPA expects a 50 percent drop in revenue amounting to around 13 million dollars in April compared to last year.

Ratnayake said that the TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) handled at the Port of Colombo have reduced by 22 percent compared to last year. However, the overall number of vessels calling at the port in the first four months of the year has increased by 2.2 percent.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has really put almost all economies navigating in uncharted waters, but amidst the challenges we at SLPA are managing to stay afloat,” Ratnayake was quoted as saying in the Daily FT.

Ratnayake noted that difficulties in clearing goods from storage amid movement restrictions imposed to contain COVID-19 will be resolved as the relevant authorities have arranged to assist importers.

In March, the SLPA announced that it would waive storage fees collected for keeping containers and cargo inside the port.

Sri Lanka has been under a curfew to contain COVID-19 since March 20. The ports and shipping sector have been declared an essential service and continues to operate with appropriate precautions.

(XINHUA)

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