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Domestic Airlines to Suspend Local Flight Operations

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Airlines in Nigeria
  • Domestic Airlines to Suspend Local Flight Operations

Domestic airlines have announced the suspension of local flight operations as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases surged in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had reported that the total number of confirmed cases has risen to 51 on Thursday while the World Health Organisation (WHO) put the total number of infected persons in Africa at 2,412 and 64 deaths as at Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

Arik Air and Air Peace had announced the suspension of operations on certain international routes to protect passengers and staff. However, with the number of cases recorded in the country rising, the two airlines have joined other local airlines like Dana Air Azman, Aero Contractors and Max Air to put a stop to local flight operations.

Air Peace, Arik Air and Azman suspension will commence on Friday, March 27 while Aero Contractors and Max Air will halt operations on Thursday, March 26 and Saturday, March 28, respectively. Dana has already suspended service since Wednesday, March 25.

Kingsley Ezenwa, the Media and Communications Manager, Dana Air, explained that the suspension would be for a period of two weeks to assess the situation.

Mrs. Toyin Olajide, the Chief Operating Officer, Air Peace, however, said the company had agreed to suspend flight operations for 23 days.

She said, “This difficult decision was reached in order to, not only, support the efforts of the Federal Government and other stakeholders in curbing the spread of this virus in our nation but also to protect our teeming passengers and our staff from becoming victims of the pandemic.”

“Continuation of flight operations in the present circumstances we find ourselves as airlines could lead to the total collapse of any airline hence the need to quickly stem the rising financial burden and cost of operations.”

Olajide added that normal scheduled flight operations would resume on April 20, saying that the airline would be willing to operate special flights both for the government and the people.

According to an AFP report, global deaths due to COVID-19 rose to 19,246 on Wednesday with over 427,000 confirmed cases. Spain’s total deaths jumped to 3,434 on Wednesday after 738 people reportedly died from the virus within 24 hours.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Business

Ireland is Right to Resist US and OECD Led Calls for Global Corporation Tax Rate

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Evaluation of Public Accountability and Tax Culture among Tax Payers in Nigeria

Ireland is right to resist a global minimum corporation tax rate which could end up being a “masterclass in the law of unintended consequences”, affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.

The comments from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, come as Ireland’s finance minister, Paschal Donohoe, signalled the country will push back against attempts to rework the global tax system.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has been holding talks among 140 countries for several years and now says it hopes to reach a consensus by mid-2021.

Its plans have been given a boost by the Biden administration’s support for a minimum global corporate tax rate. “We’ve had a global race to the bottom in corporate taxation and we hope to put an end to that,” said the U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a hearing in Washington last month.

deVere’s Nigel Green says: “Ireland is right to resist the U.S.-backed calls for a minimum global corporation tax. The plans are misguided and could turn out to be a masterclass in the law of unintended consequences.

“The lack of flexibility would considerably hinder countries’ ability in employing tax policy to generate foreign direct investment (FDI).

“This means that countries which are not especially appealing for investment, except for a low tax regime, will be left hugely disadvantaged.

“Foreign companies and international agencies would likely move elsewhere where there are low taxes as well as other important attractive draws, taking with them direct and indirect jobs and wealth, plus all the other associated benefits of FDI.”

He continues: “America’s call for a global minimum tax is also likely to further disadvantage developing economies.

“Whilst the minimum rate is not yet stated, but once it is, a multinational’s tax rate in each jurisdiction will be set against that minimum and if a lower rate is paid in that jurisdiction, a top-up tax will be demanded. And that extra tax-take will go where the parent company is domiciled.

“Considering that the majority of the world’s major corporations are in developed countries, namely the U.S., it seems the plans are tilted towards the wants and needs of those nations, and in particular of the U.S., already the world’s largest economy.”

The lack of autonomy is another reason why a blanket global corporation tax could curb economic growth, says Mr Green.

“Each country has unique economic characteristics and challenges.  Under the plans, would a country be able to support certain key sectors of their economies, such as tourism or agriculture, by offering rebates when needed for example?  It seems unlikely.”

In addition, for many companies, a global minimum corporation tax will hike their costs of doing business around the world. “Is this then the right policy to pursue as the world is trying to reboot after the pandemic?” asks Mr Green who also argues that these higher costs will ultimately be passed on to consumers and suppliers.

The deVere boss also says that the plans may be flawed as each nation will maintain its unique set of complex exemptions and loopholes that could still be used by powerful corporations.

He concludes: “A global minimum corporation tax rate will do little to level the playing field, and it might make it worse.

“Keeping tax and business policies competitive will help economies recover stronger and quicker.”

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Amazon To Open African Headquarters In South Africa

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Amazon

US retail giant, Amazon has announced that it would be opening its first African office in South Africa with a real estate investment of over R4 billion. This announcement is coming a week after Twitter choose to open its first African office in Ghana.

Authorities in Cape Town noted that Amazon would be occupying a new development in River Club, a prime section of the city. This new development will create 5,239 jobs in the construction phase alone. Along with 19,000 indirect and induced jobs.

The 15-hectare parcel of land will cost R4 billion and include two precincts. Authorities said the first precinct of 60,000sqm would occupy different layers of development, while the second section of 70,000 will hold Amazon headquarters in Africa.

“US retail giant, Amazon, will be the anchor tenant, opening a base of operations on the African continent. The development is envisaged to take place in phases, with construction set to take place over three to five years.

It is clear that this development offers many economic, social, and environmental benefits for the area. We are committed to driving investment to revitalize the economy, which is slowly recovering following the impact of Covid-19.” This was affirmed by Cape town city officials.

Earlier last week, Techcrunch had reported that Amazon announced the opening of Amazon Salon, the retailer’s first hair salon and a place where Amazon aims to test new technologies with the general public.

Amazon has had its web engineering giant AWS in South Africa for years, but its main e-commerce services have not been available anywhere on the continent.

This announcement came a week after Twitter announced the decision to set up its first African office and headquarters in Accra Ghana. Twitter claimed that Ghana’s democratic and economic strides made the West African country a highly competitive destination over Nigeria and other countries.

It was unclear whether Amazon considered Nigeria and similar parameters as Twitter while deciding its African base.

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Dangote Commits $700M To Sugar Production In Support of Backward Integration Policy

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Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc

The management of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has said it is committing over $700m to its sugar projects to support the Backward Integration Policy of the Federal Government to make Nigeria self-sufficient in sugar production.

According to a statement issued on Sunday by Dangote Industries Limited, the company disclosed this to visiting members of the Nasarawa House of Assembly on Friday.

The company noted that Nigeria was one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest importers of sugar, second only to South Africa with an annual import of over $337m.

The Dangote Sugar management however assured the lawmakers that with the completion of its sugar projects in Nasarawa and Adamawa under the BIP, the nation would be saved more than half of the forex expended on sugar imports annually.

It added that the investment would also lift its people as other people-oriented infrastructures would come with the sugar projects.

The state lawmakers commended the Dangote Group for the choice of the state for the project and the accelerated pace with which the project was being executed, despite occasional delays arising from communal disagreements.

General Manager for the BIP, Dangote Sugar, John Beverley said when the factory was fully operational, it would have the capacity to crush 12,000 tons of cane per day, while 90MW power would be generated for both the company’s use and host communities.

He also disclosed that some 500km roads in all would be constructed to ease transportation within the vicinity. He solicited the support of the lawmakers in controlling the menace of land encroachment by settlers and itinerant farmers.

The Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Ibrahim Abdullah, and his team members, who were conducted around the company’s 78,000 hectares BIP in Tunga Awe Local Government Area commended the company for the project.

Abdullah noted that it would not only open up opportunities in the state but in Africa as a whole, and said the lawmakers were ready to partner and support the company towards the realisation of the sugar project through the relevant legislation.

When phase II of the project is completed, according to the company, it will make it the largest sugar refining plant in Africa.

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