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LCCI Seeks VAT Suspension, Asks for Tax Holiday for Manufacturers

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Lagos Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the Federal Government to suspend the implementation of the 50 per cent  increment in the Value Added Tax (VAT), among others, to be able to put the overall economy back to track.

LCCI Seeks VAT Suspension, Asks for Tax Holiday for Manufacturers

Mrs Toki Mabogunje, president, who spoke during a briefing on the state of the economy in Lagos, said a year tax break should be granted for healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, airlines, manufacturers, agro-processors, small medium enterprises (SMEs) and hospitality players.

Mabogunje said agro-processing companies should enjoy import waivers for the next one year, adding that it is critical to support food security and agricultural supplies.

She said: “Commercial banks are implored to offer reprieve to businesses and corporates indebted to them. The reprieve could be in form of loan moratorium and restructuring.

We urge the CBN to review the cash reserve ratio downwards to 20 per cent from 27.5 per cent, to enable commercial banks have more liquidity to support businesses.

“In the aviation industry, we recommend support towards augmenting insurance premiums which are dollar-denominated as cover were mostly underwritten abroad due to lack of local capacity; support to pay for operational cost including international lease rental on grounded aircraft and maintenance (C& D-checks); full implementation of the Executive Order on Removal of VAT from Air Transportation.”

She reiterated the need for restrategising and ensuring proper coordination both at the states and federal level, urging the government to focus on the completion of critical infrastructure projects nationwide such as the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Lagos-Ibadan rail project, Enugu Airport, the Second Niger Bridge, East-West Road, among others.

“These public goods would have significant positive impact on commercial activities and businesses as they reduce cost of doing business and boost productivity.

The private sector should be encouraged and incentivized to contribute to investment in infrastructural development,” she stressed.

Also speaking, Dr. Muda Yusuf, director general, said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cannot sustain continuous protection of the naira by depleting its foreign reserves, adding that the continuous drop in oil prices weakens the naira.

Yusuf pointed out that naira has been technically devalued, explaining that official devaluation will occur when the CBN can no longer have the quantum of dollar to defend the naira.

“Over the past 20 years, value-added per capita in agriculture has risen by less than 1 percent annually and it is estimated that Nigeria has lost $10 billion in annual export opportunity due to continuous decline in the production of some commodities, according to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Over the years, Food production increases have not kept pace with population growth, resulting in rising food imports and declining levels of national food self-sufficiency (FMARD, 2008).

The main factors undermining production includes reliance on rain for agriculture, smallholder land holding, and low productivity due to poor planting material, low fertilizer application, and a weak agricultural extension system amongst others,” Yusuf said.


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E-Financial

Naira Weakens, Oil Slips, Stocks Flat

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By Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM

As the coronavirus menace dug its vicious talons deeper into Africa’s largest economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria wasted no time in depreciating the official Naira rate by 5.5% to 381 per Dollar.

In the face of Dollar shortages, depressed Oil prices and mounting pressures from external lenders the CBN remains pressured to unify the multiple exchange rates to improve transparency.

A single exchange may eliminate an element of confusion and even attract foreign exchange investment, but such may come at the expense of rising inflation.

The exchange rate at the black market has already tumbled to a three-year low, trading around N463 per Dollar following the official devaluation.

With consumer prices hitting 12.4% in May, signs of rising inflationary pressure fueled by a weaker Naira is the last thing Africa’s largest economy needs.

Local stocks trading flat this week with the Nigerian All-Share Index down -0.24% since Monday.

Oil prices were mostly depressed this week thanks to rising coronavirus cases across the globe.

Fears around another round of lockdowns hitting demand for Oil continues to haunt attraction towards the commodity and this may remain a key theme ahead of the OPEC decision next week.

If the cartel decides to extend the historic production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day beyond July, Oil prices have the potential to edge higher. However, a disappointing outcome to the meeting with the cartel reverting to previous supply cut of 7.6 million barrels per day could send Oil prices tumbling.

Overall, this was another week defined by COVID-19, volatile global equity markets and sharp changes in risk sentiment. Gold is likely to remain the talk of the town after appreciating to levels not seen in 9 years. With coronavirus related developments, trade uncertainty and global growth fears among many negative themes straining sentiment, the precious metal has the potential to shine this quarter.

 


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Customers to Access up N3m in New UBA Credit Card, Flexible Repayment Plans

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United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Pan African financial institution, has introduced the new UBA Naira Credit Card to its teeming customers in fulfilment of its promise to ease accessibility to funds and improve the overall standard of living.

Customers to Access up N3m in New UBA Credit Card, Flexible Repayment Plans

Kennedy Uzoka

With the new UBA Naira Credit Card, customers whose salary accounts have been domiciled with the bank for a minimum of three months and are employees of corporates under UBA’s approved counterparty list with minimum net monthly income of N250,000 are in for a stress-free business and personal lifestyle.

They will be qualified to access up to N3m credit, with extremely flexible repayment plans of as low as 10% of their monthly outstanding due.

Specifically, these customers aged between 18 and 57years who apply for the UBA credit card will also enjoy easy access to funds with a revolving line of credit and up to 45 days interest free credit, flexible repayment options; amazing discounts at select merchant locations including Restaurants, Boutiques, among other mouth-watering benefits.

The UBA credit card also allow ATM withdrawals in Nigeria or abroad wherever the Visa logo is displayed while allowing ease of payment of goods and services locally and Internationally on POS/WEB terminals where the Visa logo is displayed.

Sampson Aneke, group head, Digital Banking, UBA, said that as a bank that is interested in the welfare of Nigerians, UBA is always on the forefront of developing products and services aimed at creating wealth, easing living conditions and meeting the needs of its customers all over the world.

He said, “At UBA, we recognise that access to credit is fundamental to the creation of wealth and value in the economy.  Unfortunately, the country has been challenged in this regard with only about 2% of the population presently having access to bank loans.

“It is in addressing these developmental and household challenges that the bank has in recent times developed and introduced a number of unique lending products to the market, with the latest being the innovative UBA credit card.”

Aneke who spoke glowingly about all the benefits that the banks’ customers stand to enjoy from the credit card explained that the UBA Credit card is currently available as Visa Gold card with a card limit of between N75,000 to N1,000,000 and Visa Platinum card with a limit of between N1,000,001 to N3,000,000 and can be used locally and internationally at any ATM or POS outlet which has the Visa logo, WEB (online), and POS terminals.

“There is an interest free period  of 45 days on POS/Web transactions provided 100% repayment is made on the repayment due date and customers are entitled to 30% (annualized) of their monthly salary as credit card limit subject to the existing Debt Service Ratio (DSR).  The monthly repayment cycle will run from the 15th of every month to the 15th of the next month and the credit card statement showing transactions details within the period and the amount due for repayment will be sent to the cardholders’ registered email address,” Aneke said.

He explained that to get the card, customers can walk into any UBA branch or visit the bank’s website at www.ubagroup.com to download the credit card application form, fill it and submit to the Customer Service Officer at any UBA branch nationwide.

United Bank for Africa is a leading pan-African financial institution offering banking services to more than twenty million customers globally.

With footprint in 20 African countries and presence globally in the United Kingdom, the USA and France,

UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.


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Access Bank in Discussion For Acquisition Of Zambian Bank

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Access Bank Plc has entered into exclusive discussions with Cavmont Capital Holdings Zambia Plc on the acquisition of Cavmont Bank Limited.

In a regulatory filing at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Access Bank said the discussions bothered on a potential transaction between Access Bank Zambia and Cavmont Bank Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cavmont Capital.

“The potential transaction relates to the sale of 100 per cent of Cavmont Capital’s interest in Cavmont Bank to Access Bank Zambia. There can be no certainty that a transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms of any such agreement”.

According to Access Bank, the completion of a transaction would be subject to formal regulatory approvals.

“Access Bank will update the market as appropriate and in accordance with its’ disclosure obligations,” it said.

Accordingly, shareholders are advised to exercise caution when dealing in Access Banks securities until a full announcement is made.


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