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Lagos unveils N800 consolidated transport levy for commercial drivers

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Lagos State Government has signed an agreement for the collection of Informal Transport Sector Levy to harmonise dues collected by government from commercial motorists at parks and garages across the State.

The government signed the agreement with the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, and others on Tuesday.
The levy will see each commercial driver in the state pay a consolidated levy of N800 to be shared among government agencies and local governments.
The agencies to share the N800 collected are LAWMA, LIRS, LASEPA, Ministry of Transportation, local governments, among others.
With the levy, the LGs will not collect levy from commercial drivers anymore as their share has been inculcated in the N800 levy per day for a commercial driver.
All commercial bus drivers will now be issued tax cards by the Lagos Internal Revenue Service annually for paying the N800 daily and about N24,000 monthly.
The state Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, said at the signing of the agreement at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja that the fee would cover money for not just the local government, but also that of clearing waste from the motor parks paid to LAWMA, and pollution due collected by LASEPA.
According to Olowo personal income taxes of the drivers would also be deducted from the levy.
“The consolidated transport levy will include the personal income tax of the drivers, include cost of taking care of parks, include money for Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA; LG money and others,” he said.
Olowo said the need to harmonise the transport collection levy process became paramount as other associations have template for collecting their dues.
He said from findings, a commercial bus driver pay as much as N3,000 as levy on daily basis to the various unions and government agencies, saying that has now been pegged at N800 per driver.
“We want to reduce the fees payable. The levy will consolidate all levies; we want to build a reliable data base to know those who are doing businesses in our state. Bus drivers will get tax card. We want to bring about collaborative effort. It is imperative for Lagosians to know this is a remarkable achievement. An average danfo driver pay N3,000 daily. Once they pay from the point of entry, that is all. It is N800 charge per day

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Finance minister suspends accountant general of federation over N80bn fraud

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The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, has been suspended indefinitely by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed over alleged fraud.

Idris was arrested two days by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged N80bn fraud.

The minister’s Special Adviser on Media, Mr Tanko Abdullahi, confirmed the suspension, stating that it was indefinite and was meant to ensure unhindered investigations into the fraud allegations.

 

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Elon Musk worries over Twitter fake accounts, gives fresh takeover conditions

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Tesla Chief Executive Officer and world’s richest person Elon Musk has expressed concerns about presence of fake accounts on the Twitter platform.

He has thus cast further doubt over his $44bn (£35bn) takeover of Twitter after stating the deal “cannot move forward” until the social media company proves that less than five per cent of its users are fake or spam accounts.

The Tesla chief executive used his Twitter account to say the agreed deal would not progress until the firm showed proof that only a small proportion of its users were fake.

“My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate. Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does.”

Musk announced last week that the deal was “on hold” after he queried Twitter’s claim in filings with the US financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, that a small proportion of its users were fake or spam.

The Twitter chief executive, Parag Agrawal, attempted to address Musk’s concerns in a lengthy tweet thread on Monday but his efforts to explain the problem “with the benefit or data, facts, and context” were met with a poo emoji from the world’s richest man.

Without citing a source, Musk claimed in a tweet that Twitter is “20% fake/spam accounts” and suggested Twitter’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission were misleading. The company has said that less than 5% of its daily active users are spam accounts.

Twitter’s shares were down 1.7% in premarket trading Tuesday. The stock has erased all its gains in the weeks since Musk disclosed his stake the company and is now trading at $36.80 per share — well below Musk’s offer price of $54.20 per share.

“Twitter is committed to completing the transaction on the agreed price and terms as promptly as practicable,” the company said in a statement Tuesday.

On Monday, Musk exchanged a series of tweets with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal about the spam account issue.

Twitter (TWTR) suspends “over half a million spam accounts every day,” Agrawal wrote. He also reiterated the 5% statistic, saying that estimate is based on “multiple human reviews … of thousands of accounts” sampled at random. Twitter has previously acknowledged that while it believes its estimates to be “reasonable,” the measurements were not independently verified and the actual number of fake or spam accounts could be higher.

Agrawal’s initial 13 tweets were met with a reply from Musk that was reflective of the unusual and extremely online nature of the deal: a poop emoji.

Musk followed up with a somewhat more thoughtful question. “So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money?” Musk asked “This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter,” he added.

Musk has repeatedly spoken out against bots and spam accounts on Twitter, once describing cryptocurrency spam bots as the platform’s “single most annoying problem.” Anyone familiar with the replies to Musk’s tweets knows they are full of such scams, many of which attempt to leverage Musk’s name.

“The bot issue at the end of the day … feels more to us like the “dog ate the homework” excuse to bail on the Twitter deal or talk down a lower price,” Dan Ives and John Katsingris, analysts at Wedbush Securities, wrote in a note on Monday.

In his Twitter thread, Agrawal said most spam campaigns on Twitter use a combination of humans and automation, rather than being primarily led by bots. Parsing through legitimate and fake accounts can be complicated, he said.

“The hard challenge is that many accounts which look fake superficially — are actually real people,” he said. “And some of the spam accounts which are actually the most dangerous — and cause the most harm to our users — can look totally legitimate on the surface.”

Agrawal said Twitter had been in touch with Musk on the spam issue.

“We shared an overview of the estimation process with Elon a week ago and look forward to continuing the conversation with him, and all of you,” he added.

Sources: CNN and The Guardian

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Dollar sells for N600 at parallel market

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The dollar exchanged at N600 at the parallel market (black market) in many cities across the country on Monday May 16.

Currency dealers exchanged the naira at N595 and sold within the range of N596 and N600 to a dollar in many places including Uyo, it was learnt.

Abuja black market dealers at Wuse zone 4 said the currency was exchanged at N594 and sold at N595 per $1.

According to FMDQ, where forex is officially traded, the naira which opened trading at N417 closed at N421 to a dollar at the close of business on Monday.

The depreciation of the local currency has heightened fears of a further devaluation of the nation’s currency.

The naira has maintained an average of N416.69 to a dollar since the beginning of the new year.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not recognize the parallel market (black market), as it has directed individuals who want to engage in Forex to approach their respective banks.

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