- Finally, FG to Tax First, Business Class Tickets
Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said Thursday that the federal government would begin to tax first and business class flight tickets in line with the new tax drive aimed at boosting revenue.
The move is coming almost three years after the previous administration rolled out the initiative among a cocktail of measures to boost revenue with the precipitous decline in oil price from mid-June 2014.
Adeosun said the new drive followed the signing of a policy to tax first and business class tickets as well as other luxury goods.
She made these disclosures in a Facebook interaction with Nigerians, where she was asked whether or not there was a plan to tax both classes of tickets as well as sundry luxury items. She simply responded: “I think yes. We signed something yesterday on luxury goods: champagne, brandy, whiskey, wine, jewellery, high-end jewellery.
“We’ve signed something that will bill access charge on first class and business class tickets; we are just doing the final part of the implementation and we also want to try and amend the tax payer book on high-end cars, luxury cars.”
She assured Nigerians that the proceeds would be deployed into turning Nigeria into what it was in the past.
According to her, “If we move our tax-to-GDP ratio up, it means two things: One, we will be able to provide more services to our people. Many of the things we are not able to do are a function of the fact that we don’t have enough money.
“We need to build more schools, we need to build more hospitals, we need to build more roads. This is not rocket science. Every country has challenges, there is nothing we are facing that other countries haven’t faced.
“Every poor nation has very poor tax compliance rate and every rich nation has high compliance rate. So we want to be a prosperous nation. So what is in it for the citizens? If everybody pays, there will be far more money in the pool to be spent on the services that we need.
“These things are what we call public goods, and they are funded from taxes. If you have been all around the country, you’ve seen the need, you’ve seen the number of people that are living in poverty. We can lift people from poverty if we have the right money.
“We could do so much more in the economy if we had the money. If our public school system improves, many people who are currently paying school fees will move their children back into the public schools.”
The minister noted that a lot of people that were very successful today were educated in public schools because such schools were good, stressing: “We can recreate that; same with the health system. A lot of people die needlessly because we don’t have the right health facilities.”
However, she clarified that Nigerians living and working abroad, and paying taxes in those countries do not have to pay taxes in Nigeria.
Prestige Assurance Grows Profit by 25.17 Percent to N776.500 Million in H1 2021
Prestige Assurance Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading insurance firms, grew profit after tax by 25.17 percent from N620.348 million recorded in the first quarter (H1) of 2020 to N776.500 million in the first half of 2021.
The insurance firm disclosed in its unaudited financial statement released on Tuesday and obtained by Investors King.
Gross premium written increased by 38.86 percent to N5.434 billion in H1 2021, up from N3.913 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2020.
Net premium income also grew by 34.82 percent from N1.916 billion in H1 2020 to N2.584 billion in H1 2021. While underwriting expenses expanded to N2.262 billion in the period under review, up by 51.43 percent when compared to N1.494 billion filed in the same period of 2020.
Similarly, interest income jumped by 59.40 percent from N232.924 million in H1 2020 to N371.279 million in H1 2021. Other investment income and other operating income appreciated by 30.96 percent and 83.74 percent from N145.803 million and N7.264 million in H1 2020 to N190.947 million and N13.347 million in H1 2021, respectively.
Profit before tax inched higher by 14.22 percent to N970.624 million in H1 2021 from N849.792 million in H1 2020.
Profit after tax rose by 25.17 percent to N776.500 million in the period under review.
Total assets expanded to N19.423 billion in the first half of 2021, representing 4.96 percent when compared to N18.505 billion.
Basic earnings per share and diluted earnings per share grew by 25.17 percent each to N5.86 each.
Coca-Cola Creates Its First Collection Of Brand-Inspired NFTs
Coca-Cola has partnered with digital art and avatar company Tafi to launch its first collection of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. NFTs are unique digital collectibles that exist on the blockchain and represent different types of files like images, audio, and video.
The collection, which Coca-Cola is offering to celebrate International Friendship Day on July 30, features an NFT “loot box” which contains digital wearables designed by Tafi.
Buyers can bid on the Coca-Cola Friendship Box, a digital version of a collectible vending machine, which comes with three one-of-a-kind digital assets: a custom Coca-Cola Bubble Jacket Wearable, which can be worn in virtual world Decentraland; The Sound Visualizer, which captures different audio cues like the pop of a bottle opening or the sound of the soda being poured over ice; and The Friendship Card, a digital design inspired by the company’s friendship-inspired trading cards released in the 1940s.
“Each NFT was created to celebrate elements that are core to the Coca-Cola brand reinterpreted for a virtual world in new and exciting ways,” said the president of the global Coca-Cola trademark, Selman Careaga. “We are excited to share our first NFTs with the metaverse where new friendships are being forced in new ways in new worlds.”
Besides the one-of-a-kind collectibles, the winning bidder will also have access to “additional unique and valuable surprises,” which will be unveiled when the loot box is digitally opened.
The sale, which will take place on popular NFT marketplace OpenSea, will open on July 30 and close on August 2. All bids must be placed with ETH.
All Coca-Cola proceeds from the auction will be donated to Special Olympics International, a global sports organization that provides children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, with year-round training and activities.
PiggyVest Acquires Savi.ng To Expand Operations
The Nigeria-based wealth management app giant, PiggyVest announced that it has acquired a smaller competitor Savi.ng.
Until the acquisition, Savi.ng was a wealth management app launched in 2018 that allowed users to save via various features like automated savings, fixed deposits, joint savings and PAYE.
According to the company, discussions to buy Savi.ng which started earlier this year has now been completed. However, the cost of acquisition was not disclosed.
Under the deal, all existing Savi.ng users will be automatically migrated to Piggyvest. Savi.ng was founded in 2018 by VFD Microfinance and currently has ten thousand plus downloads on Google Playstore. PiggyVest’s android app on the other hand has got one million-plus downloads.
Speaking on the acquisition, PiggyVest says it is in line with its vision of providing financial freedom for all. “It’s more of a team acquisition,” PiggyVest co-founder, Joshua Chibueze, explained to TechCabal over a call.
The team behind Savi are reputed to have solid expertise in finance and are savvy with financial tools. This talent quality prompted PiggyVest’s move to acquire the wealth management startup.
“Fintech is two things. Fin and tech. We believe we are as good at tech and customer acquisition so we need as many financial players as possible to consolidate what we are trying to do,” Chibueze adds.
The acquisition consolidates PiggyVest’s growth and capacity to dominate Nigeria’s hotly competitive savings and investment space. Last year, it paid back NGN90 billion ($220 million) to users which currently numbers up to 3 million.
The move also signals a positive trend for Africa’s local startup ecosystem – that it is possible to build for the sole purpose of selling to a larger player in the same sector.
Earlier this year, Piggyvest partnered uduX to help Nigerians invest in their favorite musicians. This shows how broadly the company is looking to expand its investment opportunities.
PiggyVest revealed that there are more acquisition announcements to come in the year.
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