• Sunday, December 03, 2023
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Five things to know to start your Monday


FG cuts diesel VAT for six months, presents additional proposals to labour

The Federal Government has announced a six-month waiver on valued-added tax (VAT) for diesel, as revealed by Information and National Orientation Minister Mohammed Idris after a meeting with labor unions.

This move is part of efforts to address labor demands, including mitigating rising transportation costs through alternative energy sources and providing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses for improved public transportation.

Additionally, the government is committed to supporting micro and small-scale enterprises financially.

The National Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) are considering these offers, potentially suspending their planned strike for further discussions on these resolutions.

FG grants first wholesale gas supply licence under PIA

The Federal Government has granted its inaugural Wholesale Gas Supply Licence, allowing indigenous firm Ohuru Trading Limited to supply 500 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.

This initiative aims to enhance gas utilization across Nigeria. The license issuance aligns with Section 142 of the Petroleum Industry Act, facilitating commercial activities in the gas value chain.

The CEO of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Farouk Ahmed, presented the license in Abuja, emphasising its significance in promoting commercial activities within the oil and gas sector.

This move intends to attract investments and improve the living conditions of Nigerians.

LASG clears Red Rail line right of way

The Lagos State Government has initiated the clearance of settlements along the right of way for the Red Rail project.

Led by the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Oluyinka Olumide, the enforcement team began clearance activities from Lateef Jakande Station in Agbado, extending through Iju to Babatunde Fashola Station in Agege, concluding at Ebute Metta.

This operation involves removing makeshift stalls, partially demolishing buildings, and sealing two new church constructions.

The government emphasises the importance of safety and plans to continue enforcement along the entire train corridor, urging traders to relocate and avoid encroachment.

The Red Line Rail project spans 37 kilometers from Agbado to Marina with 13 stations.

Nations consider de-dollarization of their economies

Several countries, including BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and others like Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Argentina, and Ethiopia, are working to reduce their reliance on the U.S. dollar.

They face dollar shortages and currency devaluation due to rising Fed Fund rates. The UAE now trades oil with India in Rupees, and Argentina plans to use Yuan instead of dollars for imports from China.

BRICS nations have started selling U.S. Treasury Bonds, collectively disposing of $18.9 billion in the past month to protect their currencies.

In Nigeria, efforts to decrease dollar dependence include a renewed currency swap with China worth $2.5 billion.

Britain’s finance minister to announce higher minimum wage
British Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt is set to announce a minimum wage increase to £11 per hour for workers over 23 years old during his Conservative party conference speech.

He won’t address calls for tax cuts within his party, as he focuses on supporting Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s inflation-reduction goal.

Average weekly earnings have surged, a concern for the Bank of England regarding inflation. Hunt will also propose a review to strengthen the benefit sanctions system.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Liz Truss will advocate for tax cuts, emphasising their role in stimulating economic growth.