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Senate Probes Kachikwu, DPR Over Oil Lease Renewal

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  • Senate Probes Kachikwu, DPR Over Oil Lease Renewal

The Senate has resolved to investigate Nigeria’s imminent loss of $10bn to illegal discounts and rebates granted by Federal Government officials in the process of oil and gas lease renewal.

Adopting a motion moved at the plenary on Wednesday titled: ‘Irregularities in the Ongoing Oil and Gas Lease Renewal and Massive Loss of Government Revenue’, the lawmakers fingered the Presidency; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu; and the Department of Petroleum Resources for the alleged revenue loss.

The motion was moved by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), Senator Omotayo Alasoadura, and co-sponsored by Senators Baba Garbai, James Manager and Gershom Bassey.

The Senate unanimously resolved to mandate the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) “to investigate all issues relating to the ongoing lease renewal being undertaken by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the Department of Petroleum Resources, and to report to the Senate the anomalies in the ongoing lease renewal process and identify appropriate measures to correct the said anomalies.”

Seconding the motion, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim urged the lawmakers to extend the probe to the Presidency as the final approvals for the lease contracts were from there.

Ibrahim said, “The only observation I have on this motion is that for the fact that Mr President is the Minister of Petroleum Resources, maybe that is why this motion is not mentioning the Minister of Petroleum Resources. But we are aware that the minister of state ordinarily does not have the final approval for this type of case.

“There is a board of the NNPC, the ministry and it is out there – though it has yet to be substantiated – that the Chief of Staff to the President is a member of the board and is literally in charge of the board and the ministry.

“I will just want the prayer to expand those to be called in the investigation. It is in the rumour mill that the Chief of Staff is in charge of the NNPC and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, so that the minister cannot just come and say he is not the one in charge. In our law, there is no space for minister of state; so, a minister of state cannot give a final approval.”

Senator Shehu Sani said an investigation of the matter might lead the lawmakers into unravelling more irregularities in the petroleum sector.

Alasoadura pointed out that under the provision of extant laws, failure to pay royalties was a ground for revocation of leases and a legal barrier to renewal of applicable leases.

He said there was a subsisting legal framework and due process mandated by extant laws for the renewal of leases that were due for renewal.

The lawmaker added, “The Senate is concerned that the irregularities being perpetrated by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the Department of Petroleum Resources in the ongoing lease renewal process is capable of denying government revenue in excess of $10bn as a result of illegal discounts and rebates in the process of lease renewal.

“The Senate is concerned that the Department of Petroleum Resources has wilfully and deliberately refused to provide the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) with relevant information and data related to the ongoing lease renewal.”

In his remarks, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session, called for a transparent probe, stating that the country’s major problems could be linked to enforcement and regulation.

According to him, the country has sufficient rules to guide Nigerians in almost all sectors.

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

The Highest Corporation Taxes Around the World and the Main Drivers Behind them

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Taxes Pay by Corporation Around the World and the Main Drivers Behind them

While corporation tax rates are influenced by the country’s definition, there’s clearly a pattern with developing countries and emerging economies paying higher rates to sustain the country.

The top five richest countries in the world’s corporation tax are relatively varied, with Luxemburg standing at 27.08%, Norway at 22%, Iceland at 20%, Switzerland at 18% and Ireland at 12.5%. It would appear that some countries’ cultures factor into how much tax they pay. For example, Scandinavian countries are proud to pay higher taxes to contribute to social welfare.

On average, Africa has the highest corporation tax rate throughout the world’s continents at 28.45% and South America, the second highest with an average rate of 27.63%. However, Europe stands at the lowest rate of 20.27%. Does this contradict the claim that developed countries pay higher tax?

OECD explained that corporation tax plays a key part in government revenue. This is particularly true in developing countries, despite the global trend of falling rates since the 1980s. Let’s take a closer look at two continents, South America and Africa, paying the highest corporation tax rates in the world.

South America has most countries in highest corporation tax top 10

According to data analysed, Brazil and Venezuela have the highest corporation tax at 34%, followed closely by Colombia at 33%, and Argentina at 30%, making South America the continent with the most countries in the top 10 who pay the highest corporation tax.

It is unclear whether South America, as an emerging continent, is charging higher taxes in order to raise government revenue or to benefit from businesses that are looking to expand internationally and enter new markets. According to research, South America is becoming a popular choice for business to enter, with strong trade links and an advantageous geographic location. Indeed, South America is a large continent where some countries are business friendly and others are harder to penetrate.

Africa: the continent with the highest average corporation tax

Being the poorest continent in the world, Africa unsurprisingly has the highest average corporation tax at 28.45%. With the highest in this data being Zambia at 35% and the lowest being Libya and Madagascar at 20%, South Africa stands roughly in the middle at 28%, slightly above average for Africa overall. Does this mean that South Africa is the safest bet for business?

South Africa is one of Africa’s largest economies, with 54 diverse countries in terms of political stability, development, growth, and population. As South Africa has been a relatively slow growth area over the years, corporation tax dropped from 34.55% in 2012 to the current rate — but was this effective? GDP in South Africa has fluctuated quite dramatically since the 1960s. Business favours countries with political stability, which is something South Africa doesn’t currently have. Furthermore, South Africa’s government debt to GDP sits roughly in the middle of the continent’s countries — is this influencing their corporate tax rate?

Country Continent Tax (%)
Puerto Rico North America 37.5
Zambia Africa 35
Brazil South America 34
Venezuela South America 34
France Europe 33.3
Columbia South America 33
Morocco Africa 31
Japan Asia Pacific 30.62
Mexico North America 30
Argentina South America 30
Germany Europe 30
Australia Asia Pacific 30
Philippines Asia Pacific 30
Kenya Africa 30
Nigeria Africa 30
Congo Africa 30
Belgium Europe 29
Pakistan Asia Pacific 29
Sri Lanka Asia Pacific 28
New Zealand Asia Pacific 28
South Africa Africa 28
Luxembourg Europe 27.08
Chile South America 27
Canada North America 26.5
Algeria Africa 26
India Asia Pacific 25.17
Jamaica North America 25
Chile South America 25
Ecuador South America 25
Netherlands Europe 25
Spain Europe 25
Austria Europe 25
South Korea Asia Pacific 25
Bangladesh Asia Pacific 25
China Asia Pacific 25
Indonesia Asia Pacific 25
Zimbabwe Africa 25
Tunisia Africa 25
Greece Europe 24
Italy Europe 24
Malaysia Asia Pacific 24
Israel Middle East 23
Egypt Africa 22.5
Norway Europe 22
Denmark Europe 22
Turkey Europe 22
Sweden Europe 21.4
United States North America 21
Portugal Europe 21
Russia Europe 20
Finland Europe 20
Iceland Europe 20
Afghanistan Asia Pacific 20
Azerbaijan Asia Pacific 20
Kazakhstan Asia Pacific 20
Thailand Asia Pacific 20
Vietnam Asia Pacific 20
Cambodia Asia Pacific 20
Taiwan Asia Pacific 20
Saudi Arabia Middle East 20
Jordan Middle East 20
Yemen Middle East 20
Madagascar Africa 20
Libya Africa 20
Slovenia Europe 19
Czech Republic Europe 19
Poland Europe 19
United Kingdom Europe 19
Belarus Europe 18
Croatia Europe 18
Switzerland Europe 18
Ukraine Europe 18
Singapore Asia Pacific 17
Hong Kong Asia Pacific 16.5
Lithuania Europe 15
Georgia Asia Pacific 15
Maldives Asia Pacific 15
Kuwait Middle East 15
Iraq Middle East 15
Ireland Europe 12.5
Cyprus Europe 12.5
Bulgaria Europe 10
Qatar Middle East 10
Hungary Europe 9
Barbados North America 5.5

 

Lucy Desai is a content writer at QuickBooks, a global company offering the world’s leading accountancy software.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production Declined to 1.31mbpd in September

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Nigeria’s Crude Oil Output Declined from 1.37mbpd in August to 1.31mbpd in September

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reported that Nigeria’s crude oil production declined by 58,000 barrels per day in the Month of September when compared to the nation’s oil production of August.

In its latest oil market report, the cartel said Nigeria produced 1.37 million barrels per day in the month of August but that number declined by 58,000 to 1.31 million barrels per day in September. Bringing the total decline for the 30 days of september to 1.74 million barrels.

On oil price movement in September, the organisation said prices settled lower in the month under review after four consecutive months of gains.

OPEC Reference Basket declined by 8.1 percent or $3.65 in September to $41.54 per barrel, while it moderated to $40.62 per barrel from the year-to-date.

Commenting on the recent changed in Nigeria’s monetary policy rate, the oil cartel said “the recent cut is a part of the policy to continue supporting the economy that plunged 6.1 per cent in the second quarter hit by the global pandemic.

“Nevertheless, Nigeria’s annual inflation rate surged to the highest rate since March 2018 in August 2020, as it rose to 13.22 per cent year-on-year from 12.82 per in in July.

Oil prices sustained bullish trend on Thursday after data showed U.S oil inventories declined last week.

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Economy

Global Economy to Lose $28 Trillion in Five Years -IMF

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IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva

International Monetary Fund Says Global Economy May Lose $28 Trillion in the Next Five Years to COVID-19

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the world’s economy may lose as much as $28 trillion to COVID-19 in the next five years.

The Fund’s Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, disclosed this during her opening remarks at the annual general meeting conference held on Wednesday.

She said “The picture over the last few months has become less dire, yet we continue to project the worst global recession since the great depression.

“Growth is expected to fall to -4.4 per cent this year. And over the next five years, the crisis could cost an estimated $28tn in output losses.

“At the same time, we can see stars shining above us. We see unprecedented efforts in vaccine development and treatment.

“We see extraordinary and coordinated fiscal and monetary measures putting a floor under the world economy. And the world is starting to learn how to live with the virus.

“While there is tremendous uncertainty around our forecast, we project a partial and uneven recovery in 2021, with growth expected at 5.2 per cent.”

“As I said in my curtain raiser speech, all countries now face a “long ascent”—a journey that will be difficult, uneven, uncertain, and prone to setbacks.

“Think of how the virus is resurging in a number of countries.”

She also made recommendations, the managing director explained that an unusual crisis requires an unusual approach and solution.

Georgieva said, “In our Global Policy Agenda, which we are releasing today, we outline the measures we believe are needed to overcome the crisis and build a brighter future. Let me highlight three priorities:

“First—continue with essential measures to protect lives and livelihoods.

“A durable economic recovery is only possible if we beat the pandemic everywhere. Stepping up vital health measures is imperative.

“As is fiscal and monetary support to households and firms. These lifelines—such as credit guarantees and wage subsidies—are likely to remain critical for some time, to ensure economic and financial stability.

“Pull the plug too early, and you risk serious, self-inflicted harm.”

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