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Customs Seeks Banning Of Vehicles Above 7 Years

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The House of Representatives’ Committee on Customs and Excise, has sought the banning of vehicles above seven years.

The lawmakers made this known, as they proposed a revenue target of N1.56 trillion for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in 2021, up from the original N1.4 trillion proposition.

The amount was set for the NCS in 2020 before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic that led to a downward review of the target to N1.3 trillion.

The committee resolved to jerk up the figure at a budget defence session held with the Controller-General of the NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), in Abuja.

Amongst other factors, Ali, however, decried that the African Continental Free Trade Area and the World Trade Organisation agreements entered into by Nigeria were already affecting the country’s revenue negatively.

Chairman of the committee, Leke Abejide, said the lawmakers would retain the targets on duties and Value Added Tax collection as the Customs was able to surpass the reduced target during the lockdowns while the COVID-19 pandemic was already over.

Abejide said, “The 2021 proposal that Customs brought to us; we compared notes of what was presented to us in the 2020 fiscal year and what was collected by the service. There was a proposal of N1.4 trillion.

“When we looked at your new proposal and the kind of noise it will generate when we get to the floor of the House, we don’t want to have problems on the floor trying to pass the budget.

“So, when we looked at what you collected in 2020, which was N1.56tn when you add VAT, it will look somehow illogical for us.”

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NBS Announces Price Hike Of Cooking Gas Price in March

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NBS Announces Price Hike Of Cooking Gas Price in March

The average price for refilling a 5kg cylinder of cooking gas increased to N2, 057.71 in March from N2, 018.91 in February, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The figure is contained in the NBS “Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Cooking Gas) Price Watch’’ for March 2021 obtained from its website by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

It said the price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder for cooking gas increased by 1.92 percent month-on-month and by 3.87 percent year-on-year in the period under review.

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According to it, states with the highest average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder of cooking gas are Bauchi, N2,487.46, Borno N2,397.56, and Adamawa N2,397.37.

It, however, said that states with the lowest average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder for cooking gas were Jigawa N1,717, Abuja N1,800.98, and Kaduna N1,825.86.

“Similarly, the average price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder for cooking gas decreased by -0.10 percent month-on-month and increased by 4.26 percent year-on-year to N4, 359.23 in March from N4, 363.51 in February.

“States with the highest average price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder cooking gas were Cross River N4, 762.65, Sokoto N4, 750 and Edo N4, 728.57.

“States with the lowest average price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder for cooking gas were Zamfara N3, 749.06, Kaduna N3, 751.27, and Katsina N3, 845.04.”

The NBS said the various prices were collected across all the 774 Local Governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), from more than 10,000 respondents and locations.

It said its audit team conducted randomly selected verification of prices recorded.

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Shoprite Nigeria Now Has a Buyer, Here’s Why The Grocer Divested

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Shoprite Nigeria Now Has A Buyer, Here's Why The Grocer Divested

Grocery and household store, Shoprite Nigeria has recently been linked to a possible sale, due to the country’s business environment amongst other factors. But eight months after the South African biggest grocer first disclosed its plan to divest from its Nigerian retail entity, Tayo Amusan, the Chairman of Persianas Group, a real estate company, and retail service, emerged as the buyer after a successful bidding process.

At the moment, while Persianas and Shoprite refused to comment on the deal, Reuters confirmed from banking sources that the former, owned by Amusan, is currently arranging the buyout through debt.

“MBO Capital and KPMG advised Persianas while FBN Quest, a unit of FBN Holdings, is arranging the debt”, the sources said, adding that Investec advised Shoprite.

Why Shoprite chose to divest

In recent times, Shoprite has been loud about its intention to divest from Nigeria. The divestment, according to industry sources, may not be unconnected to currency devaluations, stiff competition, and unfavourable business environment.

Competition: In 2002 when Shoprite expanded into Nigeria, it was with excitement as many Nigerians wanted to have a ‘feel-good’ experience of shopping from the giant retailer. Given the fact that ‘a doing-well business’ attracts competitors in its thriving environment and moment, little did Shoprite know that the fairy-tale would not last forever.

As the year goes by, Shoprite started welcoming competitors like -Park n Shop which later rebranded to Spar, Ebeano, Citydia, and Adiba. Mounting pressure on Shoprite Nigeria’s market dominance, the monopoly the retail giant enjoyed at the time it launched, started breaking, as retail outlets started making their presence in every neighbourhood in the country.

Currency devaluations: In the past years, the naira has lost its value as it relates to its exchange against the dollar. Since March last year (2020), the naira has been devalued no less than twice, leaving business owners in the country with profitability issues to deal with. As it is in the case of Shoprite where most of the products it sells are imported, it is spending more on its offerings to consumers, resulting in lesser profits or losses.

It is also pertinent to note that like every other supermarket, Shoprite sells on low margins compared to prices in shops. Therefore, the more products that are being sold, the more profitability.

Nigeria’s business environment: The President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has introduced some economic policies, some of which are affecting Shoprite’s business flow in the country. Amongst the policies is the banning of foreign exchange (forex) for the importation of local substitutes. Aside from the fact that the forex ban limits the number of products Shoprite can sell and how many new shelves it can make available on each of its floor spaces, the policy also leaves the retailer with supply chain challenges.

More so, for Shoprite, Naira’s susceptibility to exchange rate is another major challenge. Since the company makes money in Naira, it must convert its earnings in the country to dollars before converting back to Rands.

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NGX Group launches new brand identity and website

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Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group) Plc, a leading integrated market infrastructure Group in Africa, has launched its new corporate brand identity and website today, 13 April 2021.

The launch of the new identity follows the demutualisation of The Nigerian Stock Exchange and the resulting creation of the non-operating holding company NGX Group Plc and its subsidiaries: Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, the operating exchange; NGX Regulation (NGX RegCo) Limited, the independent regulatory arm of the Exchange; and NGX Real Estate (NGX RelCo) Limited, the real estate company.

The NGX brand identity follows a monolithic brand architecture, which will facilitate the formation of any new subsidiary by leveraging existing brand equity. The identity is inspired by the arrows of the stock exchange ticker tape as well as monetary exchange between a buyer and seller. These arrows are stylised to form an ‘N’ and denote the act of collaboration.

Speaking on the development, the Group Chief Executive Officer, NGX Group, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON stated, “We are very excited about the launch of our new brand identity and website at this pivotal time in our history. Influenced by the dynamism and resilience of our market in both good and challenging times, our new identity, which builds on our rich heritage, reflects who we are today, our ambitions for the future, and our resolve to deliver superior value to our stakeholders. As we step into the NGX era, we remain committed to achieving the highest level of competitiveness, both in African and global capital markets”.

Together with the new vibrant, modern, and responsive website, NGX Group offers an enriched user experience. Accessible via ngxgroup.com, information about the group and the various subsidiaries are independently situated but featured as one website. With its centralised home page and clearly delineated tabs for each subsidiary, the new site delivers relevant content in a clean and organised way to provide visitors easy access and navigation to all the information they require.

In consolidating its group perspective, NGX Group has also rebranded its social media assets. The brand can now be found on Instagram and Twitter using the handle ‘@ngxgrp’; and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube using the handle, ‘ngxgroup’.

The new brand identity and digital assets reflect the vibrant, disciplined, inspired, and engaging personality of NGX Group and its subsidiaries. They are designed to make a distinctive and positive impression, even as the organisation continues to provide a platform for investors and issuers to meet their investment objectives.

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