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Lagos Dispatch Riders Lament Over Payment Of N25,000 Levies, Call For Urgent Intervention From Govt

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Fahim Sakeh, Gokada founder, Murdered in New York

In most developed or developing countries, Small and Medium scale enterprises (SMEs) contribute greatly to the economy of that nation, as they account for about 90% of businesses, especially in Nigeria.

However, in Nigeria, there have been complaints and laments from most SMEs over the unfavourable working conditions meted out to SMEs. These include high taxes or levies from officials, unstable power supply, government policies, among others.

In light of this, some dispatch riders in Lagos have staged a protest against multiple extortions by the state government and some agencies of the Federal Government.

Barricading the main entrance to the Lagos State House of Assembly complex, hundreds of dispatch riders consisting of men and women displayed placards with various inscriptions, such as; ‘We are not lazy Nigerians, No to baboon areaboys’, ‘Give us one card’ and others.

They also prevented visitors to the complex from entering, despite heavy police presence at the gate.

Investors King gathered that one of their agitations was the issuance of four tickets/cards amounting to N25, 000 to operators by authorities, comprising the Lagos State government, Local Councils, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).

According to them, the State Assembly had, in 2021, directed that the extortion of dispatch riders in the state be stopped, and had appealed to government officials to comply with the directives to allow peace reign.

However, nothing was done in this regard, as NIPOST, the body charged with regulating the practice of courier and logistics in Nigeria, has also started issuing its own driver’s licence, which will make a total of four licences for the riders.

A rider lamented that they pay N3, 600 for the Lagos State Rider’s Card, N2, 500 to Ogun State for a similar card, N10, 000 to NIPOST and N8, 000 to the FRSC. According to him, these levies amount to about N25, 100 per rider and whoever defaults in payment will be arrested.

“We are tired of these multiple charges. We are appealing to the government and authorities concerned to reduce our burden.

“The FRSC has mandated that all dispatch riders should have a class ‘A driver’s licence’ and they have been impounding our bikes in numbers,” he said.

While examining the challenges impacting SMEs growth, particularly financing, taxation issues and other factors, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in a report, noted that there is a need to conduct an evaluation of SMEs in Nigeria with the aim of unlocking growth and development of the sector in Nigeria.

The evaluation, according to PwC, will assist in attaining a status report on the level of effect or impact of the existing funding and other support strategies on the target recipients as well as aid in driving policy assessment, redirection and formulation going forward, especially in this present economic climate.

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Walmart, Amazon, Apple, Others Top 2022 Fortune 500 List

Walmart took the top spot for the tenth year in a row, generating $5.1 trillion cumulative revenue over that time

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fortune 500

Fortune Magazine has released the 68th edition of their annual list of the top 500 US companies with Walmart, Amazon, and Apple topping the list.

Fortune 500 list is an annual list of the top 500 largest companies in the United States, ranked based on the total revenue each of the companies generated in their respective fiscal years. It is compiled by Fortune Magazine.

A check by Investors King shows 2022 top 500 largest companies in the United States earned a combined $16.1 trillion in revenue and realised $1.8 trillion in profits. Indicating that the 2021 revenue grew by $6.4 billion, or 19% when compared to 2021 numbers.

Breaking down this year’s list, Walmart took the top spot for the tenth year in a row, generating $5.1 trillion cumulative revenue over that time.  Amazon.com came second with a 22% increase in revenue in 2021 to cross the $450 billion threshold.

Apple, perhaps the most profitable company on the list for the eighth time in eight years, generated profits of $95 billion to sit in the number three position.

CVS Health and CEO Karen Lynch strive to produce Fortune 500 history as the highest-ranking firm ever led by a female CEO, at number 4.

UnitedHealth Group maintained its position as USA’s largest health insurance provider, with considerable growth in 2021. The corporation served 2.2 million more individuals this year than the previous year, and revenue increased by 12% to $287 billion, making it claim the 5th spot.

Exxon Mobil has risen from 10th to 6th place on the Fortune 500 after a difficult, pandemic-affected 2020. After COVID-related limitations drove energy consumption and oil and gas prices to plunge, Exxon Mobil trimmed costs to shore up its balance sheet, laying off 9,000 employees. These measures, combined with a resurgence in oil prices, let the business earn more than $23 billion in 2021, its highest annual profit in seven years.

Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway generated the second-largest profits among Fortune 500 firms last year, with $90 billion in net income. Its stock also soared, returning 23.2 percent in 2021, putting it in the 7th position.

Alphabet had a spectacular record, reaching $200 billion in sales for the first time. Alphabet was the best-performing Big Tech stock in 2021, with shares up nearly three times the Nasdaq’s 22 percent gain. It also put aside $50 billion for share repurchases and announced a 20-to-1 stock split to stimulate more investment. With steady growth in revenue and profit from 2006, Alphabet took the 8th spot.

Mckesson, one of the largest drug distributors in the country ranked 9th with a clear revenue of $238,228 million in the 2021 fiscal year despite a $4.5 billion loss.

Despite a fall in this year’s ranking, AmerisourceBergen increased its revenue by 12.7%, to $214 billion for the 2021 fiscal year. The company ranked 10th, following its counterpart, Mckesson.

2022 Top 10 Fortune 500 List

  • Walmart
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • CVS Health
  • United Health Group
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Berkshire Hathaway
  • Alphabet
  • Mckesson
  • AmerisourceBergen

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Kaduna Airport Finally Resumes Operation, Azman Air Becomes First Airline to Reopen 

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Kaduna International Airport

After it suspended all flight operations for almost two months, the Kaduna Airport has finally resumed its flight operations, starting with Azman Air. 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) announced that the Kaduna airport has commenced full flight operations after it was shut down due to an attack by gunmen. 

The acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, confirmed to newsmen on Monday that “Flight operations to Kaduna airport have commenced today with Azman Air.”

Investors King gathered that Azman Air, via its official Twitter account, announced the resumption of flights to the Kaduna airport, making it the first airline to resume operations.

The tweet reads: “Azman Air landed at Kaduna Airport today 23rd May 2022, to the elation and cheers of passengers, stakeholders, and staff. 

“Azman Air is the first Airline to resume operations in the Kaduna Airport after it has been closed for almost two months. 

“It was a defining moment for the aviation community as the airport is reopened after being closed for two months. It’s so exciting to be back!”

The airport manager, Aminat Salami, said: “As you can see, I have all my management staff here. We have been closed from the 26th of March, close to two months and I’m very sure and you can see we are all excited and happy and I’m praying that Azman will continue their operations successfully and they should not be discouraged by the first flight because people are not really aware”. 

“We will try to do more of the video advert so that the passengers would improve as time goes on,” she added. 

Recall that in March, it was reported that gunmen attacked the airport and killed a security guard while the Kaduna-Abuja train was also attacked on the same day. 

The airline had stopped its flight operations into Kaduna following the attack at the airport eight weeks ago. 

The attack was however repelled by the airport security operatives.

 

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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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