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Unity Bank Posts N23.6bn Gross Earnings In H1

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Unity Bank Posts N23.6bn Gross Earnings In H1-Crystal News

Unity Bank Plc has announced gross earnings of N23.6 billion for the six months ended June 30, representing an increase of four per cent.

The bank said this in its unaudited financials submitted to the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Friday.

The gross earnings was higher compared with the N22.8 billion posted in the comparative period of 2020.

The bank grew its bottom-line by 34 per cent as profit before tax closed at N1.50 billion from N1.12 billion in 2020.

Similarly, the profit after tax stood at N1.38 billion against N1.03 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2020.

The lender also sustained growth the trajectory in its assets as total assets for the period rose by 11 per cent to N547.37 billion from N492.02 billion as of Dec. 31, 2020.

Other highlights of the financial statement include a 21 per cent increase in fee and commission income to N3.07 billion from N2.54 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.

Net interest income stood at N9.87 billion, representing nine per cent increase from the N9.06 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2020.

Commenting on the result, the Managing Director, Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, said the performance was encouraging in spite of the economic challenges.

Somefun said the double-digit growth recorded in both earnings and profits was the result of a portfolio plan, which the bank embarked on at the beginning of the year to diversify its portfolio.

She added that the bank pursued asset creation in petrochemical downstream, consumer, healthcare and general commerce, with agribusiness providing the bulwark for identified business and brand benefits.

She said the bank would be looking to strengthen its balance sheet from the liability side as it continued to grow its brand franchise in many areas of the retail market by promoting and leveraging its agriculture value chain businesses.

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Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Falls To 17.01% In August 2021

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Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Falls To 17.01% In August 2021-Crystal News

Nigeria’s inflation rate in August this year dropped to 17.01% compared to 17.38% reported in July 2021 says National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The fall represents the fifth consecutive decline in the rate of inflation recently recorded in Nigeria.

The latest figure is 0.37% represents lower than what was recorded in the previous month. Meanwhile, on a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.02% in August 2021, this is 0.09% higher than the rate recorded in July 2021 (0.93%).

The urban inflation rate increased by 17.59% (year-on-year) in August 2021 from 18.01% recorded in July 2021, while the rural inflation rate increased by 16.43% in August 2021 from 16.75% in July 2021.

On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.06% in August 2021, up by 0.08% points compared to the rate recorded in July 2021 (0.98%), while the rural index also rose by 0.99% in August 2021, up by 0.12% points compared to the rate that was recorded in July 2021 (0.87%).

Food inflation Rate

The closely watched index, which measures the rate of change in the prices of food items in the country, dropped to 20.3% in August 2021, compared to 21.03% recorded in the previous month.

According to the report, the rise in the food index was caused by increases recorded in the price of bread cereals, milk, cheese and egg, oil and fats as well as tea and cocoa.

The ”All items less farm produce” or Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.41% in August 2021, down by 0.31% when compared with 13.72% recorded in July 2021.

The Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said on Tuesday at the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference that the declining inflationary trend has reflected several measures put in place by the fiscal and monetary authorities.

Recall that the Monetary Policy Committee had kept the country’s monetary benchmark rate constant at 11.5% in a bid to expand the economy from the recession recorded in the third quarter of 2020. He however stated during the last MOC meeting that the committee had hoped for a faster moderation in the inflation rate than is being recorded.

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Sanwo-Olu Signs VAT Bill Into Law

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Sanwo-Olu Signs VAT Bill Into Law

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday signed into law the State VAT Bill.

By this act, the Bill has now become a Law to impose and charge VAT on certain goods and services.

Consequently, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LSIRS) has been empowered to administer and implement the law and account for money collected in accordance with the law.

The VAT law titled, “Lagos State Value Added Tax Law: A Bill for a Law to Impose and Charge Value Added Tax On Certain Goods And Services, Provide for the Administration of the Tax and for Related Matters,” empowers the state to charge VAT at the rate of six per cent on the value of goods and services in the state.

It also states that “the value of taxable goods and services shall be determined in the following ways: where the supply is for a money consideration, its value shall be deemed to be an amount which with the addition of the tax chargeable is equal to the consideration.”

The law further states that revenue accruing from VAT would be shared on a ratio of 75 per cent to 25 per cent between the state government and the Local Government Council Areas.

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt in August delivered a judgment restraining the FIRS from collecting VAT and personal income tax in Rivers State.

FIRS on Wednesday said it has appealed the judgment which held that it does not have the right to collect VAT in the state.

“Be assured that FIRS has filed an appeal and that one is in process and that is why we are not able to speak,” FIRS Group Lead, Special Tax Operations, Matthew Gbonjugbola told a news conference on Wednesday.

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MTN Group Announces Mobile Money Partnership With Flutterwave

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MTN Group Announces Mobile Money Partnership With Flutterwave-Crystal News

MTN has announced a mobile money partnership with Africa’s leading payments technology company, Flutterwave. This partnership will allow businesses integrating Flutterwave in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia to receive payments via MTN Mobile Money (MoMo).

MTN MoMo is a fintech platform providing consumers and businesses with an electronic wallet, enabling electronic transfers and payments as well as access to digital and financial services. At the end of June 2021, MTN MoMo had 48.9 million active users and 581,514 merchants. MoMo enables businesses to accept and make payments within the mobile money ecosystem. This new partnership will enable Flutterwave to offer MTN Mobile Money as a payment method to its business customers.

In recent years, Africa has witnessed an explosion in mobile penetration as smartphone adoption has risen rapidly. According to the GSMA, this year Africa will hit the half a billion mark of unique mobile subscribers, and the continent will reach 50% subscriber penetration by 2025. Sub-Saharan Africa alone is responsible for more than 45% of the world’s mobile money accounts with the number of account holders exceeding half a billion by 2020, as shared on Statista.

Through this partnership, MTN and Flutterwave aim to positively contribute to this trend by increasing mobile money usage and penetration in Africa to improve local economies and livelihoods as well as create opportunities for individuals and businesses across the continent.

MTN Group Announces Mobile Money Partnership With Flutterwave-Crystal News

MTN Group Announces Mobile Money Partnership With Flutterwave-Crystal News

Commenting on the partnership, Serigne Dioum, MTN Group Chief Digital, and Fintech Officer said: “As we progress on our journey to becoming the largest fintech platform in Africa, we will empower millions of businesses to embrace e-commerce in our markets to accept digital payments from MoMo consumers. We believe this is an enabler to accelerating digitized payments in Africa. Building strong ecosystems through partnerships is central to our platform strategy and we will continue to invest in expanding the reach of our platform to consumers and businesses in Africa.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, Founder and CEO of Flutterwave, said: “Africa has one of the highest growth rates for mobile money adoption and e-commerce in the world. It makes sense that we help provide a seamless payment method to support and ensure African businesses reap the full benefits of the e-commerce boom in the region. Our goal has always been to grow a new wave of prosperity in Africa by creating more avenues for businesses in Africa to accept payments. With this partnership, we can achieve this while creating endless possibilities for our customers.”

The new partnership will further expand on Flutterwave’s previous collaboration with MTN, beyond Uganda and Rwanda – with the potential of deepening adoption of digital payments and e-commerce in Africa, a sector expected to reach $29 billion by 2022, according to Statista.

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