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Customs Disagrees With CBN Over e-Invoice Policy

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Godwin Emefiele - Investors King

Concession over the e-valuation and e-invoice policy for import and export came to a dead end on Thursday, 3rd March when the Nigeria Customs Services pointed out its reservation over the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) initiative.

The Apex Bank and Customs Services, as well as other stakeholders, had appeared before the House of Representatives Committees on Customs and Excise as well as Banking and Currency to address disparities arising from the introduction of the new system by the CBN.

The CBN noted that this policy is important to curb leakages and enable the government to recover more funds. However, the Customs reported that it was in violation of the law as the policy did not follow due process and would restrict trade and trading activities.

Stakeholders like the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) stated that the policy by CBN was too hasty and was done without inputs from relevant stakeholders.

Investors King recalled that the apex bank had issued a circular that addresses a new system to kick off on February 1, 2022. However, the House had on January 27, 2022, placed it on hold as it directed the CBN to adopt a 90-day timeline for the implementation of fiscal measures to avoid destabilising effects on the economy.

According to the CBN, the prices of goods in trade transactions are sometimes manipulated by some stakeholders wishing to launder proceeds through the current financial system. The CBN has proposed that a simple way to identify such activities is by banks implementing a price check on all trade transactions, hence the need for the e-valuation and e-invoice policy.

However, while this sounds like a progressive idea from the CBN, the new policy may be in violation of the World Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement of which Nigeria is a signatory.

According to Assistant Controller General of Customs, Galadima Saidu, “Nigeria is a signatory to the WTO trade facilitation agreement. The agreements are legally binding with punitive measures that would adversely affect the Nigerian economy. The introduction of the CBN initiative is against Article 7 of the General Agreement on tariff and trade 1994 and Article 1, 2 and 6 of the WTO TFA. The agreement aims for a fair, uniform and neutral system for valuation of goods for Customs purpose and it conforms to commercial realities and which outlaws the use of arbitrary or fictitious customs values. The use of bench-marking in valuation would negate the aim of our agreement on Customs valuation and would result in delays and uncertainties. The use of benchmarking in valuation was abolished due to the dynamic nature of pricing, especially in this current time when technology is rapidly evolving,”

The House of Representative Committees has also directed the CBN and Customs to harmonize their differences on the new policy and report back on March 17, 2022, for further action.

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Senior Advertising Execs Expect Dramatic Growth in Budgets

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Pedestrians walk past a shop displaying advertising for a sale in central Sydney, Australia

New research from Alfi, an AI enterprise SaaS advertising platform, shows senior advertising executives are forecasting strong growth in advertising budgets over the next 12 months with 24% predicting dramatic growth.

The global study among senior executives including CEOs found 61% are more modest and are predicting slight growth while just 15% believe advertising budgets will remain at around the same level as today.

Growing budgets for advertising mean the executives questioned in the UK, US, France, Germany, Canada, Australia are increasingly looking for better ways to measure the reach and effectiveness of campaigns.

Alfi’s study shows executives are generally happy with the campaign data available but just 21% rate it as ‘excellent’ while 65% describe it as ‘good’. However, 14% say it is average or poor.

That is driving increased interest in the use of QR codes in Digital Out of Home (DOOH) advertising, which enables advertisers to measure exactly how impactful their campaigns are through first-party data which is accessible instantly.

More than a third (34%) of senior executives believe the importance of QR codes in advertising will increase dramatically over the next two years while 56% believe it will increase slightly.

“The global advertising industry is going from strength to strength after recovering strongly in 2021 to hit a new record high** and the indications are that it will continue in 2022 and beyond,” said Peter Bordes, Interim CEO, Alfi. “Increased spending should mean increasing the focus on measurement and data, which explains the growing use of technology and QR codes in particular.”

The study found all the senior executives questioned agree that the use of QR codes in advertising will increase dramatically over the next two years with 50% strongly agreeing with the view.

Bordes concluded: “Throughout the industry we can expect a higher focus on data-driven insights by expanding advertising capabilities, analytical sophistication and delivering it all seamlessly over multiple devices – thus leading to not only confident purchase behaviours but greater one-to-one connections with consumers.”

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Less Market For Brand New iPhone Sellers As Nigerians Opt For UK Used

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There is no doubt in the fact that Computer village in Ikeja area of Lagos is known as a hub for sale of UK used phones, especially iPhones.

For some reasons, this area seems to be a one-stop location for individuals who can barely afford to buy the brand new iPhones and other used phones.

Surprisingly, these phones, contrary to the name they’re called (UK used) are not necessarily imported from the United Kingdom alone. Rather, they also originate from other countries like the United States of America, Hong Kong, Dubai, Korea, China, among others.

Perhaps, the name ‘UK used’ was given due to the fact that the first sets of iPhones to be imported into the country came from the UK. The huge preference for UK used phones by most Nigerians is unconnected to the unstable exchange rate.

For some time now, the Naira has faced a long slump against the dollar and other currencies. In 2014, a dollar was exchanged for 148 naira, about 20 percent more than the price it was in 2009. Since then, the exchange rate has continued to soar higher, almost becoming a bottleneck for Nigerians. Currently, one US dollars is exchanged for 416.31 naira, over 100 percent increment from 2014.

Investors King gathered that the exchange rate has, among other things, led to the increment in prices of goods imported into the country, including gadgets. Hence, people opt for the less expensive, yet functional gadgets, especially iPhones.

It is important to note that these UK used phones, in some cases, do not come without hitches. While some might come with defective screens, others might have slight internal issues.

However, one has to be extremely careful when purchasing these UK used phones. Preferably, one should go with an expert in the phone business or a phone engineer when buying. This is because of the risk factors associated with it, some which are already highlighted above.

Also, people fall victims of stolen or refurbished phones. In most cases, these phones are sold ridiculously cheap, sometimes half of the price it should be sold.

Before buying a UK used iPhone, one should consider some of its features well. A good UK used iPhone, regardless of the model, is expected to accept SIM cards. In the case of refurbished iPhones, there might be a SIM slot but this doesn’t guarantee that the phone will work.

It is also importation to note, for the iPhone 6, 7, and 8 series, when the fingerprint on the home button does not work, it cannot be fixed again or might hinder some basic features in functioning.

Unlike the new iPhones, the UK used iPhones do not come with a warranty. This is one of the disadvantages in it. So, it is important to ensure that one is getting something worth its price and confirmed to be really UK used.

One way of checking if the iPhone is new or refurbished is by checking its serial number on the Apple website.

There’s also a way of checking if a UK used iPhone is stolen or not. Every cell phone has a unique serial number, which is used to identify that device. This helps to lock the stolen device as well when needed. The GSM carriers use the IMEI number and the CDMA service providers use the MEID number to identify the device.

One of the major reasons people opt for iPhones, instead of other brands of phone is because of its camera quality. Therefore, this is an aspect that should also be thoroughly considered when purchasing a UK used iPhone. If possible, to see the quality of images, take at least multiple videos and pictures before purchasing, to make sure the camera of the device works perfectly.

Some brands of the iPhone are already outdated and no longer in production. These include iPhones 5, 5C and 5S. These phones are however still sold by some vendors at the rate of about 20,000 to 32,000, depending on the volume of the memory.

It is usually advisable to buy the latest models, if one can afford them. These models include iPhone X, XS MAX, and others. This is because electronics that have been on the market for more than 3 years might be hard to maintain. Also, one might spend more replacing the battery and other parts on the gadgets because they might have worn out or expired or damaged due to improper use.

Prices of some UK used iPhones, according to Sellatease:

iPhone 6 16GB in Nigeria 40,000 – 45,000 Naira
iPhone 6 64GB price in Nigeria 45,000 – 50,000 Naira
iPhone 6 plus + 16GB 55,000 – 60,000 Naira
iPhone 6 plus + 64GB 60,000 – 65,000 Naira
iPhone 6 plus +  128GB 65,000 – 75,000 Naira
iPhone 6S 16GB 50,000 – 55,000 Naira
iPhone 6S 32GB 53,000 – 58,000 Naira
iPhone 6S 64GB 55,000 – 63,000 Naira
iPhone 6S 128GB price 60,000 – 74,000 Naira
iPhone 6S+ plus 16GB 60,000 – 70,000 Naira
iPhone 6S+ plus 64GB 63,000 – 75,000 Naira
iPhone 6S+ plus 128GB 70,000 – 80,000 Naira
iPhone 7 32 GB 70,000 – 80,000 Naira
iPhone 7 64 GB 70,000 – 83,000 Naira
iPhone 7 128 GB 70,000 – 88,000 Naira
iPhone 7 plus + 32 GB 115,000 – 125,000 Naira
iPhone 7 plus +  128GB 120,000 – 135,000 Naira
iPhone 7 plus + 256GB 125,000 – 145,000 Naira
iPhone 8 32GB 100,000 – 120,000 Naira
iPhone 8 64gb 95,000 – 105,000 Naira
iPhone 8 128GB 98,000 – 110,000 Naira
iPhone 8 256gb 100,000 – 115,000 Naira
iPhone 8 plus + 64GB 140,000 – 159,000 Naira
iPhone 8 plus 128GB 145,000 – 170,000 Naira
iPhone 8 plus + 256GB 155,000 – 175,000 Naira

If one is on a low budget and still wants a nice UK used iPhone, iPhone 7 and 8 might be a good option.

The iPhone X, XR and XS were launched with modifications and presently, one can get a UK used iPhone X 64GB and 256GB for about 180,000 naira to about 190,000 respectively. The iPhone XR 64GB and 128GB is sold for 198,0000 and 210,000 respectively while the XS 64GB and 256GB is sold for about 195,000 and 210,000 respectively.

Check out a list of the iPhone X series and their prices below:

UK used iPhone X 64GB 160,000 – 180,000 Naira
UK used iPhone X 256GB 175,000 – 190,000 Naira
Price of UK used iPhone XR 64GB 175,000 – 190,000 Naira
UK used iPhone XR 128GB 180,000 – 210,000 Naira
Price of UK used iPhone XR 256GB 195,000 – 220,000 Naira
UK used iPhone XS 64GB 180,000 – 195,000 Naira
UK used iPhone XS 256GB 190,000 – 200,000 Naira
Price of UK used iPhone XS 512GB 198,000 – 220,000 Naira
UK used iPhone XS max  64GB 240,000 – 260,000 Naira
UK used iPhone XS max 256GB 260,000 – 275,000 Naira
Price of UK used iPhone XS Max 512GB 270,000 – 285,000 Naira

It’s not surprising that a lot of people prefer iPhones to Android phones.

According to a report by geeksmodo, the iPhone is more user-friendly. Even though most Android phone creators try their best in producing these phones, iPhones are perceived to be the easiest phone to use until now. The look and feel of iOS has not changed over the years.

The iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc, exclusively for it’s hardware. It is the operating system that powers many of the company’s mobile devices.

Another advantage of iPhone over Android phones is security. The US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), revealed that even with physical possession of someone’s iPhone, it takes the assistance of an exceptionally skilled hacker to break into it and access the data.

Apple does take security seriously, releasing updates to all iOS devices directly, which helps contain any breaches upon becoming aware of them, and disinfecting everybody’s devices, regardless of who their carriers are.

While further revealing the advantages of iPhones over Android phones, Geeksmodo noted that iPhones tends to hold their value pretty well. It’s easier to resell an iPhone than an Android phone if you want an upgrade. Though some Android devices also hold their value quite well, the cost of the upgrade is less painful for iPhone users.

Meanwhile, Apple is known for releasing newer models of iPhones. The iPhone 13,  was recently launched by the company with updated cameras, new colors, smaller notches, and faster A15 chip. There are however, rumours that the iPhone 14 models will be launched in a few month’s’ time. It is expected to be launched in India in October, 2022.

According to Macrumours, the 2022 iPhone 14 Pro models are expected to eliminate the notch in favor of a new design. Apple might likely go with some combination of a circular hole-punch cutout for the camera paired with a pill-shaped cutout to house to key Face ID components.

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Toyota Marks 25th Anniversary of Sienna, Lauches Limited Edition

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Toyota

Toyota launches Sienna 2023 to celebrate the model’s first quarter-century of popularity with a limited edition to mark its 25th Anniversary.

The ultra-sporty XSE model, on which the Toyota 25th Anniversary Edition is based, features dark 20-inch split-5-spoke wheels, bolder front and rear bumpers, black-painted caps, and a sport-tuned suspension that is exclusive to the XSE. The XSE Plus Package adds roof rails, Premium Audio with JBL speakers and GPS, wireless charging, and a 1500-watt converter to the Sienna 25th Anniversary Edition, which is available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

The Sienna 25th Anniversary Edition is available in Celestial Silver and Wind Chill Pearl, both of which are appropriate for the occasion. The two exterior colors are accented by special black badging and exterior trim, including mirror caps and shark fin antenna.

The external mirrors with memory, auto-dimming, puddle lights, power-fold, and reverse-tilt down function are among the amenities added to this celebratory model from the Limited grade.

The Limited additionally includes heated and ventilated front seats with memory, as well as black leather-trimmed seating with silver-colored stitching.

Onboard comfort is enhanced by the Limited’s memory steering column and second-row seats with ottomans, while lighted door sills greet front passengers.

A customized black key fob cover with silver-colored stitching bears a “25th Anniversary” logo, and special “25th Anniversary” floormats pamper the feet.

Also, the Toyota Audio systems in the 2023 Sienna provide a plethora of connectivity and entertainment options, with something for everyone. The LE grade’s base Toyota Audio system comes with a 9-inch touchscreen, six speakers, Android AutoTM, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, seven USB media ports, hands-free phone capability, and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology, SiriusXM with a 3-month Platinum Plan trial subscription, Safety Connect with a 1-year trial, and Wi-Fi Connect with up to 3 GB within a one-month trial.

When minivans initially became popular in the 1980s and 1990s, Toyota first imported its rear-drive Van and then the more market-friendly Previa. Meanwhile, Toyota was working on a far more focused entry, the Sienna, which debuted in 1998.

The Sienna has shown to be right on target for the market, evolving to a degree of family car perfection with each design iteration.

Toyota as a brand has retained a great lead in car sales globally despite chip shortages. Investors King explained that in 2021 Toyota surged by 10.1 percent, beating its German counterpart, Volkswagen, and Electric Vehicle, Tesla to having the highest sales record in the world.

Investors King gathered that maintaining the top sales record for two years in a row, Toyota Motor Co. stated that it sold 10.5 million vehicles in 2021, including those by affiliates Daihatsu Motors and Hino Motors. That is 5 percent fewer than the number sold in 2020, its lowest sales figures in 10 years, and more than 8.88 million vehicles delivered by Volkswagen AG within the same year.

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