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CISLAC: Nigeria Loses $2.9b Yearly From Tax Waivers



CISLAC: Nigeria Loses $2.9b Yearly From Tax Waivers

Nigeria loses about US$2.9 billion yearly to tax waivers granted to multinational companies, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) indicated on Tuesday in Abuja.

Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Rafsanjani, made this known at the Pan African Conference on Combating Illicit Financial Flow (IFFs) to Bridge the Widening Inequality Gap.

Rafsanjani added that Africa had lost US$1 trillion in illicit financial flows (IFFs), out of which US$50 billion is lost annually over the last 50 years.

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He said that in spite of the huge loss to tax waivers, the government increased value-added taxes (VAT), which affected the poor more from 5 percent to 7.5 percent.

He said that IFFs connected with corruption, crime, and tax evasion were an issue of increasing concern that reduced government revenue for financing sustainable development.

“International Monetary Fund and World Bank have all expressed concerns over the likely sharp increase in inequality and poverty arising from the pandemic.

“This is with estimates projecting that 42.1 percent of the sub-region will be pushed into extreme poverty.

“Worse yet, the World Bank further indicated that the poverty increase could take more than a decade to reverse, erasing all hopes of countries meeting their national development plan targets to reduce poverty and inequality by 2030.

“On the other hand, the wealthiest people in the region fare differently, as the three wealthiest men in the region, who are all based in Nigeria, have seen their wealth expand from US$16.8 billion in March 2020 to US$23.2 billion by July 2021.’’

CISLAC boss said that this was more than enough to fund a full vaccine program for the entire West African population.

He said that the amount lost to IFFs in Africa is roughly equivalent to all of the official development assistance (ODA) received by Africa during the same timeframe.

Rafsanjani said that these estimates might fall short of reality because accurate data do not exist for all African countries.

He added that these estimates often excluded some forms of IFFs that by nature were secret and could not be properly estimated, such as proceeds of bribery and trafficking of drugs, people, and firearms.

The Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Garba Abubakar, represented by Abdulhakeem Mohammed, the Director, Compliance, CAC, observed that the Pandora Papers exposure proved that poverty, inequality, lack of infrastructure, and good governance have not been fully addressed.

Abubakar said that the emergence of a legal framework and the deployment of an electronic register of beneficial owners of registered entities showed the political will to fight corruption.

“Public Registers of Beneficial Ownership are important tools for advancing the fight against corruption, tax abuse, asset shielding, and illicit financial flows, and so on.

“Registers of beneficial owners are assisting in no small measure to expose corruption orchestrated by ultimate beneficial owners who ore individuals who ultimately own, control or benefit from registered corporate entities.

Mr. Tiawo Oyedele, Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader, in his keynote address, said that Nigeria and other African countries needed to review the tax rules to identify necessary changes in line with the global reform.

He said that this was because even if they were not signing the global reform, it would still impact them.

Oyedele also added that tackling illicit financial flows was a much bigger problem for Nigeria than tax avoidance.

He said that the level of tax evasion in Nigeria is alarming, adding that South Africa just released their tax results and they collected 34 trillion naira equivalent in the pandemic.

He added that Nigeria had never collected one or seven trillion naira with all its states and agencies put together.

He said that in Nigeria, it was the wrong people that we’re paying taxes, the minimum wage earners struggling to make ends meet, adding that those were the people exempted from paying tax in other countries.

Oyedele said that this had led to inequality and it needed to be addressed.

He said that Nigeria needed global cooperation, especially with respect to the exchange of information, to curb tax evasion, when people steal in Nigeria and take them abroad. 

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Air Peace Announces Flights Into Anambra Airport



Air Peace Announces Flights Into Anambra Airport

Air Peace has stated that it would commence scheduled flights operations into the Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport on Tuesday, December 7, 2021.

The airline’s decision to commence flight operations into the airport followed the recent approval of the airport by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

This development was disclosed by Air Peace’s spokesperson, Stanley Olisa, in a press statement issued on Saturday.

Olisa said, “This is great news for the people of Anambra State as we are launching four flights weekly into the new airport on Tuesday. For a start, we shall be operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and as operations gather momentum, we shall increase frequencies to daily flights”.

The airline’s spokesman further said that passengers can start booking flights via their website or mobile app. He added that Air Peace plans to connect Anambra to other cities asides from Lagos and Abuja.

By the end of January 2022, we will have commenced the following connections: Anambra-Kano-Anambra, Anambra-Ibadan-Anambra and Anambra-Port Harcourt-Anambra. Air Peace is unwaveringly determined to interconnect Nigeria, providing connections which facilitate seamless economic exchanges and foster unity.

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UBA Group Dominates the 2021 Banker Awards, Wins ‘African Bank of the Year’



uba bank of the year

Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc yet again, reaffirms its leadership position across Africa, as the bank has been globally recognised as the African Bank of the year 2021 by the Banker Magazine, a leading global finance news publication published by the Financial Times of London.

UBA’s solid financial performance, its excellent service delivery to customers and its continuous role of facilitating rapid economic growth across the African continent were some of the reasons that led to the bank being named best bank in 12 of its African subsidiaries and in Nigeria. UBA Nigeria Plc, UBA Benin, UBA Burkina Faso, UBA Cameroon, UBA Chad, UBA Congo Brazzaville, UBA Cote D’Ivoire, UBA Gabon, UBA Guinea, UBA Liberia, UBA Senegal, UBA Sierra Leone and UBA Zambia all came out top as the best banks in their respective countries.

This will not be a first for UBA.  In 2020, six of its subsidiaries in Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Chad, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Zambia were winners of the Best Bank award. This year, the UBA Group is breaking a record with its exceptional wins as African Bank of the Year and Bank of the year in 13 countries.  The total 14 awards makes it the first time ever in the history of the almost 100 years of The banker, that any banking group will be clinching as many as 14 wins in a single year.

At the Virtual award ceremony which was held on December 1st 2021, the Middle East and Africa Editor for The Banker, John Everington, explained at the event that a rigorous and highly analytical process is made annually to reach the decision for each Bank of the Year award and the institution’s reputation for independence, authority and integrity is thoroughly applied to each submission.

“While several African banks impressed the judges this year, there was no doubt as to the worthiest recipient of the Bank of the Year for Africa – UBA Group – a clear winner across a wide range of criteria. UBA has performed impressively across its footprint with a strong financial performance across most of its markets,” Everington said.

UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka, who expressed delight over the recognition from The Banker stated “Like I always say, at UBA, we must be doing something right. Winning 14 total awards in13 subsidiaries and the Bank of the Year on the African continent is a big achievement.’ 

Continuing, Uzoka said, “The recognitions come as a reassurance that we are on track in consolidating our leadership position in Africa, as we continue to create superior value for all our stakeholders. We have our millions of customers across the globe and our many thousands of staff to thank for this. They are the very reason why we keep winning’

Since1926, the Bank of the Year awards has been celebrating the best of global banking and is regarded as the industry standard for banking excellence. The 2021 edition highlights those institutions that have outshone their peers in terms of performance, strategic initiatives and response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Banker Magazine is a publication of the Financial Times – a leading global finance news publication which has been in existence since 1888. The Banker magazine is the definitive reference in international banking for high level decision makers.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-five million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries.

With presence in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail; commercial and corporate banking; innovative cross-border payments and remittances; trade finance and ancillary banking services

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FBNQuest Gets New Non-Executive Director



FBNQuest Gets New Non-Executive Director

FBNQuest Capital Ltd., a subsidiary of FBN Holdings, has announced the appointment of Alhaji Abdullahi Ali Gombe, as an Independent Non-Executive Director.

The Chairman, FBNQuest, Mr. Oyewale Ariyibi, disclosed this in a statement made available on Wednesday in Lagos.

Ariyibi said the company had received all relevant regulatory approvals for the appointment.

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He said that Gombe was joining the board of the company with over 28 years of professional experience.

Ariyibi said he had served several institutions in various professional capacities and had been involved in key transactions that added significant value to the organizations where he served.

He added that prior to joining the board of FBNQuest, Gombe served on various boards including Nigalex Nigeria Ltd., FBN Bureau De Change Ltd., and FBN Bank (DRC) Ltd.

“On behalf of the board, management, and staff of FBNQuest Capital, I am delighted to welcome Alhaji Gombe, MNI to the Company as he brings on board his wealth of experience cutting across various industries and institutions.

“We are certain that his experience will have an immediate and positive long-term impact on the business.

“FBNQuest remains committed to recognizing strong corporate governance as a key driver in ensuring sound business practices are entrenched in the core of its operating model for transparency and the inclusion of all stakeholders,” he added. 

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