We bring you various leading news from across Africa, on business, economy, market, and politics. Towards A Profitable Africa.
Employees of The Liberia Revenue Authority to Boycourt Work
The revenue generation arm of the Liberian government may likely experience an unprecedented collapse if plans by employees of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) to stage a go-slow action against the recently introduced "salary harmonization," which they say will badly affect their income, goes into effect. The LRA, being the tax collector of the government and expected to help raise over US$575 million for the 2019/2020 national budget that was recently passed by the legislature may not begin this task actively as employees have already distributed circulars calling for a go-slow action beginning Monday, October 21, 2019. The LRA employees, in a heavy-hearted and dissatisfied tone, said that the government continues to cut their salaries after the "Harmonization" exercise which, many of them have said, left them far below their previous earnings. The circular also quoted the employees as indicating that "because of the quietude of their voices for the sake of having a peaceful environment, coupled with respect for their jobs and positions, the government is taking advantage of the situation to deprive them of them just earnings by cutting their salaries regularly to the extent that they cannot meet the needs of their respective families.
NLC Versus FG, Settling For Less or Winning ?
An agreement has been reached between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) over the new minimum wage adjustment. The agreement was reached after about four days of the meeting. According to the Minister of State for Labour & Employment, Festus Keyamo, both the government and the organized labor signed Terms of Settlement on different percentages of adjustments. In August, the President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said the union was not prepared for any strike but a memo posted by Keyamo disclosed that the recent conciliation meeting was organized when the labor union threatened that it could not guaranty industrial peace after October 16, 2019. Although the time the agreement on the consequential adjustments would reflect on workers’ wages wasn’t stated in the memo shared, it has allayed the fear of any potential strike by the organized labor. the increment varies for all levels of workers from GL-07 to GL-18.
GL 07 = 23.2%
GL 08 = 20%
GL 09 = 19%
GL 10-14 = 16%
GL 15-17 = 14%
Kenyatta Flags-Off 120 KM Long 2nd Phase of SGR Project
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has officially opened the second phase of his flagship infrastructure project: a Chinese-funded and built railway that will eventually link the port of Mombasa to Uganda. The latest stretch of track cost $1.5 billion and runs from Nairobi to the Rift Valley town of Naivasha. But critics say the cost of the railway is plunging Kenya into debt. Waving the Kenyan flag, Kenyatta inaugurated the second phase of the country's new railway. The president then joined the first ride and listened to the on-board announcements. The new track is 120 kilometers (75 miles) long and has 12 stations. Passengers can ride the trains, but the railway is mainly for cargo. The track will eventually lead to an inland container depot, from where containers will be distributed to Uganda and Rwanda, and to South Sudan. The train stopped at every station, where a cheering crowd awaited the president. He promised them that the new railway will bring prosperity. Kenyatta said that if the railway comes here, the development also comes here. The cost of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars for the construction of the second phase comes up on top of the $3.2 billion spent for the first stretch from Mombasa to Nairobi. President Kenyatta says this money will be earned back by the economic development spurred on by the railway.
First Bank of Nigeria Holds Talks on Using Technology in The Context of Financial Services to Solve Real Problems
First Bank of Nigeria Limited played host at the third edition of its annual Fintech summit themed “Banking + Tech = Solving Real Problems which held on Wednesday, in Lagos with a conference and panel sessions comprising tech experts, start-ups, regulators and other stakeholders to deliberate pressing issues, trends and upgrades in the application of technology in the financial services industry. Victor Asemota, Founder, Swifta Systems & Services was the Keynote Speaker at the event. This year’s event focused on how technology can aid the solving of large scale societal problems within the context of financial services in Nigeria, and it cut across multiple panel sessions to deliberate issues and prospects in the business management across the financial technology ecosystem with a view to having participants exposed to the trajectory of current and future opportunities in the Fintech ecosystem. According to Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, the Fintech Summit 3.0 was convened to set the tone for discussions that promote disruptions in the digital space, especially in the financial industry, as we recognize the opportunities for inclusive growth and influence of FINTECH not just in banking but also business operations across all industries. He added that the 2019 edition of the FINTECH summit would build-up from the successes achieved in the last two editions.”
IGI (Nig) Ltd Sacrificed 60 Unpaid Employees to Stay in Business
60 employees engaged with Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) Plc have allegedly lost their jobs due to prolonged liquidity issues encountered by the company. The development was confirmed by the spokesperson of the firm who affirmed that the sack of the employees was imperative to move the company forward. several staff members protested the decision to terminate their engagements after being owed arrears of 20 months' salaries. According to the Chairman, Coalition of IGI Staff, Samson Onipede, the firm had fallen on hard times and staff members made numerous sacrifices for the company to stay afloat. The Managing Director, Racheal Emenike, has reportedly refused to pay the disengaged workers their outstanding salaries, as she reportedly claimed that the debt was not incurred during her tenure. In 2017, a new management team was constituted by the firm to oversee the affairs of the company. as part of its restructuring program aimed at repositioning the firm for optimum performance.
Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company Struggles To Find A Permanent Replacement For Morris Mposu
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) on Sunday began its search for a new chief executive to replace Dr. Morris Mpofu who has fired five months ago amid allegations of corruption and abuse of office. The ax fell on Dr. Mpofu and six other top managers at the diamond mining firm, with its board arguing the move was aimed at cleansing the organization and rebuilding public confidence. Roberto de Pretto was appointed acting chief executive until a permanent replacement was found. Established in 2015, ZCDC is a major player in diamond mining and currently has operations in the Chiadzwa area and in Chimanimani in Manicaland and, is conducting extensive exploration and evaluation across Zimbabwe. Recruitment agency, Industrial Psychology Consultants said the overall purpose of the job was "to provide leadership and direction in the growth of the business. Deliver value to the shareholder and other stakeholders in a sustainable manner." Government mid this year announced intentions to dilute its 100 percent shareholding in the firm through an equity partnership with Russian diamond miner, Alrosa. Diamonds are expected to play a big role in Zimbabwe's ambitious target to up mining sector contribution to the country's gross domestic product to US$12 billion by 2023.
KKR & Co Failed To Pull-off The Biggest IPO of The Year in Australia
U.S. private equity firm KKR & Co and its partners have canceled what was expected to be the biggest Australian IPO of the year, the listing of their lender Latitude Financial. In what was to be their second attempt at listing in just over a year, KKR, Deutsche Bank and Verde Partners, decided to cancel the expected A$1 billion ($676.20 million) offering on Tuesday, because a large proportion of demand for shares was coming from hedge funds rather than desired long-term investors. The sources had direct knowledge of the situation but asked not to be identified since they are not authorized to talk to the media. A Latitude spokesman declined to comment but said the company expected to make an announcement on Wednesday. Latitude had filed a prospectus with the regulator last month valuing the finance company at between A$2 and A$2.25 per share but over the weekend decided to discount the offer price by up to 20.9% due to low demand. The firm, which offers easy-access loans and credit cards with minimal paperwork, and its book runners were due to finalize the raising on Wednesday and shares in the new company were due to begin trading Oct. 18.
Ghana Moves to Recapture Verification Data For Mobile Phone Users - Communication Minister
The Ghanaian Minister of Communication, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has announced that with effect from January 1, 2020, all mobile phone users would be required to undergo a re-registration of their cards. This according to her was in line with the strict compliance of the law on the acquisition and registration of SIM cards in the country. "Even though the SIM Registration regulations are still in force, it is not being enforced due to the lack of acceptable, fake proof, identification card and non-existence of verification by a national database to ensure the traceability of individuals who registered the SIM card," she stressed. Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful disclosed this in Accra when her Ministry took its turn at the Meet-the-Press Series organized by the Ministry of Information. She said the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration, 2011 primarily to reduce mobile phone related crimes such as prank calls, cyber-crime, mobile money fraud, and its related issues and general security. Furthermore, it was intended to help the law enforcement agencies to identify the SIM card owners, track criminals who use phones for illegal activities, curb incidents such as phone theft, hate text messages, mobile fraud activities, inciting violence, and to combat crime such as SIM Box fraud.
Kenya Out Borrowing Again, Warns World Bank; Nigerian Banks Worry Over The Nation's Debt Servicing Fee; Facebook Loses Cryptocurrency Fight Again; Ramaphosa Promises to Deal With Eskom's Money Trouble
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation discovers oil in the northern part of Nigeria; Bankers express worry over money apportioned to debt service; World bank WarnS Kenya against debt piling; Facebook's Libra suffers another blow.
Ethiopia Charms Pretoria For an Equity Stake in the Loss Making South African Airways
Ethiopian Airlines Group to consider buying a stake in South African Airways (SAA) should South Africa decide to sell equity in the struggling state carrier. Since 2011 South African Airways has not made a profit, the airline delayed the release of its annual earnings due to its precarious financial state. Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebre Mariam said that despite the African National Congress saying it would consider selling equity in the airline, there has been no visible strategy for such a plan. He added that if South Africa asked Ethiopian to buy a stake, they would consider it. Ethiopia and SAA are already partners in the Star Alliance. Tewolde said that the group had discussions with SAA's former Chief Executive Officer Vuyani Jarana before his resignation in May. A deal between the Ethiopian airline group and SAA may involve helping SAA chronic debt problems with banks, which are withholding further loans until the airline can present a repayment plan for 9.2 billion Rands ($611 million) of borrowings. Ethiopian Airlines is Africa's biggest aviation success story, with SAA and Kenya Airways being its main rival, which is struggling with losses and relying on government support. The Ethiopian carrier has looked to invest in other airlines around the continent, including new carriers planned for Ghana and Zambia.