Five things to know to start your Monday

AfDB mobilises $31bn investment interest

The African Development Bank (AfDB), said that it has drawn $31 billion in investment from African and global investors.

Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the AfDB revealed this in a statement issued by the Communication and External Relations unit of the bank at the 2022 Africa Investment Forum (AIF) Market Days which ended on Friday.

In the statement, Adesina commended the forum’s outcomes and the partners’ commitment.

“Despite the challenges, we are not afraid, and neither have we despaired nor lost hope.

“We are excited and committed to a collective goal; accelerating the closure of deals to transform Africa and its investment landscape,” he said.

He added that the AIF’s focus was to attract more foreign direct investment to Africa, and ensure the private sector remained the driving force of that transformation.

“The private sector is Africa’s growth accelerator. We must mitigate real and perceived risks and persuade the private sector that investing in Africa is safe,” Adesina said.

Read also: Abidjan; adventure city and quest for Africa impact investing

FIRS boss canvasses for dialogue as tool to strengthen tax administration

Muhammad Nami, the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has said that tax dialogue is a necessary tool to promote tax compliance as well as a useful tool of strengthening tax administration in Nigeria.

Nami said this at the 2022 Kaduna State Tax Dialogue, held in Kaduna on Saturday.

According to NAN, Johannes Wojuola, the Special Assistant on Media and Communication to Nami, said in a statement that tax dialogues provided a platform for exchange of diverse ideas on taxation.

According to him, dialoguing on tax is very necessary for inclusivity, fairness and pooling expert ideas to aid tax policy formulation, which ultimately strengthens tax administration.

“Dialoguing on tax is very important for many reasons.

“Tax dialogue is a multi-sided communication channel that enables every view to taxation be aired and considered.

“By so doing, it lends itself to inclusiveness in the design and implementation of the tax system, thereby, engendering the spirit of collective ownership which, ultimately promotes voluntary tax compliance,’’ Nami said.

 We will create 30 million jobs—SDP Presidential candidate

Adewole Adebayo, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), has said that he would create thirty million jobs using new technologies like crypto and blockchain if elected president in 2023.

Adebayo, who made a guest appearance at Channels TV Sunday Politics, said that his objective, which aligns with the manifestos of the party, was to reduce unemployment and drive economic growth in the nation.

He identified the crux of the nation’s problem as unemployment and argued that using government intervention to create jobs was ineffective and not strong enough to deal with the problem.

“When I went to Washington in June, I discovered that if I am going to make anything happen in terms of dealing a heavy blow on poverty, apart from government intervention, we must create jobs,” he said.

He further stressed that “the surest way to get poverty kicked out is to ensure that people can get gainful employment. These empowerment interventions are meant for those who you cannot employ.

He made an illustration to buttress his point further, arguing that it is not a smart move for any government to give empowerment instead of employment. “You cannot see a vibrant young person; instead of giving them employment, you are giving them empowerment.” It doesn’t work. What you do is give jobs to those who can do them. For the elderly, those who are retired, those who are sick, and those who have no ability to work, those are the people you use other social methods for.

He added that depending on public expenditure was not strong enough to create jobs. “I realised that if we are to rely on our public expenditure alone, we cannot create these jobs.” What I did was to go to the US Black Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber of Commerce in the US—people who know me well and whom I have worked with. “I am a board adviser for some of them, and I have gone around the world with them on job creation,” he said.

“I told them, ‘Look, you know we have done these things before in many countries, and I have been your adviser, and we have done all of these things. In my country, I know the objective conditions that we can create for you to come to Nigeria, and we can create jobs.”

“We sat down together and we looked at it in various sectors — agro-allied, alternative energy, infrastructure, health, and social services — and new technologies such as block chain and crypto technology — we discovered that we can create three million jobs times 10 to 30 million jobs by using 2,000 companies and bringing the production that they are doing into the country.”

Massive layoff looms this week as Meta restructures

Meta Platforms Inc. is planning to begin large-scale layoffs this week that will affect thousands of employees, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday citing people familiar with the matter, with an announcement planned as early as Wednesday.

In October Meta forecasted a weak holiday quarter and significantly more costs next year wiping about $67 billion off Meta’s stock market value, adding to the more than half a trillion dollars in value already lost this year.

The company which is faced with several challenges such as slowing global economic growth, competition from TikTok, privacy changes from Apple, concerns about massive spending on the metaverse and the ever-present threat of regulation.

According to Reuters, Mark Zuckerberg, the Chief Executive Officer of  metaverse investments expects it  to take about a decade to bear fruit. In the meantime, he has had to freeze hiring, shutter projects and reorganize teams to trim costs.

“In 2023, we’re going to focus our investments on a small number of high priority growth areas. So that means some teams will grow meaningfully, but most other teams will stay flat or shrink over the next year.

In aggregate, we expect to end 2023 as either roughly the same size, or even a slightly smaller organization than we are today” Zuckerberg said on the last earnings call in late October.

Twitter delays $8 ‘blue check’ verification plan until after the midterms

Twitter is delaying the rollout of account verifications for its paid Twitter Blue subscription plan until after the midterm elections, a source with knowledge of the decision confirmed to CNN.

The decision to push back the new feature comes one day after the platform launched an updated version of its iOS app that promises to allow users who pay a monthly subscription fee to get a blue checkmark on their profiles, a feature that CEO Elon Musk has proposed as a way to fight spam on the platform.

The app’s latest update was outlined on Apple’s App Store, stating that users will now have to pay $7.99 per month for the company’s Twitter Blue verification feature, “just like the celebrities, companies, and politicians you already follow.” The checkmark has long been used to confirm the authenticity of government officials, prominent figures and journalists.

The decision to delay the rollout comes as the entire decision to charge users for verification has faced wide public backlash.