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Elon Musk puts $44bn Twitter takeover deal on hold

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Elon Musk said his $44bn (£35bn) deal to buy Twitter is on hold after he queried the number of fake or spam accounts on the social media platform.

Musk said he was waiting for information “supporting (the) calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5 percent of users”.

He has been vocal on cleaning up spam accounts.

However, analysts speculated that he could be seeking to re-negotiate the price or even walk away from the takeover.

Following Musk’s tweet, Twitter shares fell as much as 25 per cent in pre-market trading.

Under the terms of the deal, if either Twitter or Mr Musk walk away they must pay the other side a termination fee of $1bn.

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Twitter reported over two weeks ago that fake accounts accounted for fewer than 5 per cent of its daily active users during the first three months of this year.

However, the company said in determining the amount of spam accounts, “it applied significant judgment, so our estimation of false or spam accounts may not accurately represent the actual number of such accounts”.

“The actual number of false or spam accounts could be higher than we have estimated. We are continually seeking to improve our ability to estimate the total number of spam accounts,” it said.

Musk, who is the richest person in the world according to Forbes magazine, is now examining that figure.

Twitter has long had an issue with automated, fake accounts being used to relentlessly post content.

Musk has called for “defeating the spam bots” on Twitter as well as several other changes, including bringing back some banned accounts such as that of former US President, Donald Trump.

Dan Ives, a tech analyst at investment firm Wedbush Securities, said Musk’s tweet would “send this Twitter circus show into a Friday the 13th horror show”.

He said Wall Street would now “view this deal as 1) likely falling apart, 2) Musk negotiating for a lower deal price, or 3) Musk simply walking away from the deal with a $1bn break-up fee”.

Mr Ives said if Mr Musk did still decide to go ahead with the deal, a “clear renegotiation is likely on the table”.

He added many would view him highlighting the number of spam accounts “as a way to get out of this deal in a vastly changing market”.

“The nature of Musk creating so much uncertainty in a tweet (and not a filing) is very troubling to us… and now sends this whole deal into a circus show with many questions and no concrete answers as to the path of this deal going forward.

BBC

Business

Nigeria’s oil revenue not enough to cover petrol import costs – Finance minister

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Nigeria’s revenue being generated from its low oil production cannot cover the cost of imported petrol, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said.

She stated this on Thursday in an interview with Reuters on the sideline of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

She said the Federal Government hopes that oil production will average 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) this year.

In the first quarter of 2022, Nigeria’s oil production averaged 1.5 million bpd.

The minister said, “We are not seeing the revenues that we had planned for. When the production is low it means we’re … barely able to cover the volumes that are required for the (petrol) that we need to import.”

This year, the FG had budgeted 1.8 million bpd of production, but frequent crude theft and attacks on pipelines continue to affect the nation’s wealth.

In April, it asked the national assembly to drop the projected production volume to 1.60 million barrels per day.

Despite higher oil prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war, under-recovery costs, also known as petrol subsidy, continue to erode gains.

Nigeria has spent about N1 trillion on petrol import shortfall in the last four months and will spend up to N4 trillion this year. This has also dwindled the federation revenue — just as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has been unable to remit any amount to the government purse this year.

On the recent hike of the monetary policy rate by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the minister said the move was necessary due to policy adjustments by the US Federal Reserve and central banks in Europe.

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Aviation

No plane crashed in Lagos – FAAN, NEMA

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Two government agencies, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and National Emergency Management Agency, have dismissed reports of a fresh plane crash in the Ikeja area of Lagos.

An internet user who saw a plane being towed away had sent the picture to the social media, concluding that it was the wreckage of a fresh plane crash in Lagos.

The aircraft, which had missing wings, was spotted on Ikeja-Agege road, causing gridlock along the route on Tuesday as the news went viral on the social media.

But FAAN in a terse statement posted on its social media handles, said Nigerians should disregard the news.

It stated, “The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria would like to inform the general public to disregard the news making the rounds on social media about an alleged crash at Ikeja Airport.

“The aircraft was sold by the owner to a buyer, who was taking it to its final destination.”

Also, Ibrahim Farinloye, the zonal coordinator, South-West, NEMA, said after due consultations with all critical stakeholders and tracking of all incoming and outgoing flights in Lagos, there was no plane.

An aviation analyst, Daniel Dikio, had also tweeted his observation of the viral video.

“It is an Airbus A319, hasn’t flown domestically in years. I can see traces of a green logo; it likely belonged to First Nation Airways in its time.

“The wings are separated cleanly; this wouldn’t happen in a crash. The separation is a sign of dismantling.

“There is no damage to the fuselage, almost impossible given the purported circumstances”, Dikio noted.

 

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Business

FG targets 1.4mbpd domestic refining before 2027

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Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva

The Federal Government has disclosed plans to actualise 1.4 million barrels per day, mbpd, domestic refining of crude oil in the next five years.

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