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Digital Economy: FG Assures Data Protection, Privacy Laws



Digital Journalist - Investors King

As the Federal Government of Nigeria extends its tent on Digital Economy, it assured citizens of effective privacy laws and protection of data.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami averred that regulations will be enacted to protect the digital rights of Nigerians.

Pantami who was represented by the National Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau, Dr Vincent Olatunji gave the assurance during a roundtable discussion on Data Privacy and Protection organised by the Public & Private Development Center, PPDC in Abuja.

The minister disclosed that his ministry is in partnership with some regulatory bodies to ensure digital protection.   

With the global digital economy of over $5 trillion worth, Pantami noted that the activities done online must be regulated.  

He said, “How do we regulate the sector, how do we regulate what we do online, how do we protect the right to privacy or freedom of Nigerians? We must look into.

“We are aware that almost everything is going online every day. Nigeria has a total number of 104 online users and you know what that means. That’s over 50% to go every day to transact businesses and this calls the attention of all of us to ensure that we protect whatever we do and protect the rights, the freedom, kind of data and information we put online.

“That is why the Minister in 2019 issued the major data protection regulation which according to the convener and as acclaimed globally, is a major regulation that we have in the area of data protection in Nigeria as of today.”

Investors King gathered that stakeholders from Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC), National Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Civil Society Organisations(CSOs) and some other sectors have commenced efforts, engaging debates on data privacy with the focus of enlightening Nigerians.

Addressing the stakeholders, Patami said, “we must assiduously ensure that we have a proper strategic plan on what to do, how to do it, who does what and who are stakeholders.”

“We have a joint committee made up of about 10 regulatory bodies; we have NIDA, we have NCPC,  and others and they are working together and tackling issues of lenders and how they access information, data they lend money to.  We are already working and they will hear from us.

“Then, on having a law, a full law to drive the rights of citizens in Nigeria, a law actually went to the National Assembly about three years ago. But there are some things that were amended that we needed to make and one of the major priorities of this law is to ensure that this law is passed before the end of the current tenure of the current government.”

The CEO of Public & Private Development Center, Nkem Ilo, in her address, charged social media and gadget users to be careful about the personal information they disclose online.

Ilo further called on the Federal Government to cooperate with stakeholders to sensitise citizens on digital rights, data privacy and digital parenting as well as educating children by adding it to their school curriculum.

“Now is the time to focus on educating citizens. We have the National  Orientation Agency whose purpose is to educate, orient. We need those kinds of agencies to begin to tell us about what we should be aware of when signing documents. What will even constitute a violation of my right to protection, of my right to privacy? What will constitute that and when that has been violated where do I go?” she said.

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August 2023 Witnesses Highest Revenue Allocation of the Year – N1.1 Trillion Shared

The driving force behind this boost in revenue can be attributed to foreign exchange gains that have contributed significantly to the government’s income stream.



Revenue - Investors King

The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) unveiled its allocation of N1.1 trillion to the three tiers of government for the month of August 2023, Investors King reports.

This substantial increase was detailed in a communiqué following the committee’s latest meeting. August allocation was the highest so far with an increase of N133.99 billion when compared to the N966.11 billion shared in July 2023.

The driving force behind this boost in revenue can be attributed to foreign exchange gains that have contributed significantly to the government’s income stream.

Breaking down the N1.1 trillion total distributable revenue, the statement reveals that it consists of distributable statutory revenue amounting to N357.4 billion, distributable Value Added Tax revenue totaling N321.94 billion, Electronic Money Transfer Levy revenue at N14.10 billion, Exchange Difference revenue of N229.57 billion, and an augmentation of NN177.09 billion.

Of this impressive sum, the Federal Government is set to receive N431.25 billion, while the State governments will be allocated N361.19 billion, and the local government Councils will obtain N266.54 billion.

However, it’s essential to note that the total revenue available for August stood at N1.48 trillion, marking a 14% or 0.26 trillion decrease from the preceding month’s figure of N1.74 trillion.

The FAAC communiqué further underscores that various deductions were made, including N58.76 billion for the cost of collection, N254.05 billion for total transfers and refunds, and N71 billion allocated to savings. Additionally, the Excess Crude Account maintained a balance of $473,754.57.

The statement elaborated, “Gross statutory revenue of N891.934 billion was received for the month of August 2023. This was lower than the N1,150.424 billion received in July 2023 by N258.490 billion. The gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax was N345.727 billion. This was higher than the N298.789 billion available in July 2023 by N46.938 billion.”

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Zambia’s Finance Minister Faces Dual Challenge in Upcoming Budget Address



Zambian economy

As Zambia’s Finance Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, prepares to present the nation’s budget, he finds himself at a pivotal crossroads.

The second-largest copper producer in Africa is grappling with two pressing concerns: debt sustainability and soaring living costs.

Debt Restructuring Dilemma: Musokotwane’s foremost challenge is finalizing the $6.3 billion debt-restructuring deal with official creditors, led by China and France.

Delays have hindered disbursements from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and left private creditors in limbo.

To reassure investors, a memorandum of understanding with the official creditor committee is urgently needed.

President Hakainde Hichilema emphasizes the importance of sealing these transactions to signal closure on this tumultuous chapter.

Plummeting Tax Revenue: The key copper-mining industry, which accounts for 70% of Zambia’s export earnings, is in turmoil.

First-half mining company taxes and mineral royalty collections have nosedived, adding to economic woes.

This, in turn, has depreciated the local currency, exacerbating imported inflation, particularly in fuel prices.

Rising Food Inflation: Musokotwane faces mounting political pressure to combat soaring living costs, with annual inflation reaching an 18-month high of 12%. Corn meal prices, a staple in Zambia, have surged by a staggering 67% in the past year.

Neighboring countries’ demand for corn has led to smuggling and further price spikes, raising concerns about food security.

Currency Woes: The kwacha’s value has been a barometer for the nation’s economic health. It depreciated by 16% since June 22, the worst performance among African currencies, reflecting the ongoing debt-restructuring uncertainty.

In his budget address, Musokotwane faces the daunting task of striking a balance between debt management, economic stability, and alleviating the burden on Zambia’s citizens.

The international community will keenly watch to see if his fiscal measures can steer the nation toward a path of recovery and prosperity.

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IMF Urges Sub-Saharan African Nations to Eliminate Tax Exemptions for Fiscal Health



IMF global - Investors King

Sub-Saharan African countries have been advised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to tackle their fiscal deficits by focusing on eliminating tax exemptions and bolstering domestic revenue rather than resorting to fiscal expenditure cuts, which could hamper economic growth.

The IMF conveyed this recommendation in a paper titled ‘How to avoid a debt crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa.’

The IMF’s paper emphasizes that Sub-Saharan African nations should reconsider their overreliance on expenditure cuts as a primary means of reducing fiscal deficits. Instead, they should place greater emphasis on revenue-generating measures such as eliminating tax exemptions and modernizing tax filing and payment systems.

According to the IMF, mobilizing domestic revenue is a more growth-friendly approach, particularly in countries with low initial tax levels.

The paper highlights success stories in The Gambia, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda, where substantial revenue increases were achieved through a combination of revenue administration and tax policy reforms.

The IMF also pointed out that enhancing the participation of women in the labor force could significantly boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in developing countries.

The IMF estimates that raising the rate of female labor force participation by 5.9 percentage points, which aligns with the average reduction in the participation gap observed in the top 5% of countries during 2014-19, could potentially increase GDP by approximately 8% in emerging and developing economies.

In a world grappling with the weakest medium-term growth outlook in over three decades, bridging the gender gap in labor force participation emerges as a vital reform that policymakers can implement to stimulate economic revival.

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