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Kenya climbs to 4th position in global flower exports, earns over $800 in 2017

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Red Lands Roses in Kenya produces some of the boldest shades of roses, from a glossy red to a bright yellow and even a vivid pink. Every single bundle of flowers is carefully prepared for export to several countries, with China being one of their biggest markets.

This flower farm is just one of many in Kenya, which is the fourth largest exporter of cut flowers in the world. In fact, Kenya’s floriculture industry earned more than $800 million in 2017.

“On a daily basis we export 36,000 tons from this country,” said Clement Tulezi, the CEO of Kenya Flower Council. “So we are moving into a place where we want to market ourselves better, we want to brand ourselves better as a country, and also brand the Kenyan flower.”

And now, Kenya’s fragrant beauties are finding their way to farther shores.

“We are doing Beijing, we are doing Shanghai, and we are doing Guangzhou,” said Irene Nkatha, the sales manager of Red Lands Roses. “We started with one shipment per week, now we are doing two to three shipments per week. The distance is short. It’s only one day to go to Guangzhou, it’s only two days to go to Beijing.”

Read also: In spite of depression woes, S’Africa’s banking system gets stable outlook

One of the main companies Red Lands Roses exports to is Jiuye Supply Chain in Guangzhou.

“We chose to introduce flowers from Kenya to China because of the vast number of varieties they grow, including some that you can’t find in other regions,” said Qi Bo, the director of Jiuye Supply Chain’s flower department.

The length of Kenya’s flower vase life is also an attractive quality for many.

“When you export like a stem today, it will take 14 days to 21 days in vase,” Nkatha said.

Qi Bo said there is a 25 percent yearly increase in demand for flowers from Kenya in China, and the company expects to double its imports to five million in 2018.

“In 2017, we imported 2.5 million flowers from Kenya,” he added. “Kenya has advanced breeding and planting skills as well as the cool-chain storage and transport technologies, which China is lacking.”

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IMF predicts Nigeria’s inflation to drop to 18% by 2026

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that inflation rate in Nigeria will drop to 23 per cent in 2025 with a further drop to 18 per cent by 2026 from the current rate of 33.20 per cent.

The IMF, which made the protection in its Global Economic Outlook released on Tuesday at the ongoing IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington D.C, said Nigeria was moving in the right direction with economic reforms including exchange rate reforms which it believes contributed to the surge in inflation rate in March.

The report endorsed by
Division Chief, IMF Research Department, Daniel Leigh, noted that with oil prices being on the rise in part due to geopolitical tensions and services, inflation had remained stubbornly high in many countries, including Nigeria.

“We see inflation in (in Nigeria) declining to 23 per cent next year and then 18 per cent in 2026,” Leigh said.

“Growth in Nigeria, steady but actually rising this year, from 2.9 per cent last year to 3.3 percent this year. We have seen an expansion from the recovery in the oil sector, with a better security situation and also improved agriculture, benefiting from the better weather conditions and the introduction of dry season farming.

“So, there’s a broad based increase also in the financial sector, in the IT sector. Inflation, yes, it has increased.

“Part of this reflects the reforms, the exchange rate and its pass through into other goods from imports to other goods.

“So, this explains also why we revised up our inflation projection for this year to 26 per cent. But with the tight monetary policies and that interest rate increase, significant interest rate increases during February and March,” he added.

On his part, head of IMF Research Department, Pierre Olivier Gourinchas, said Nigeria has six to nine per cent inflation target which has been missed by over a decade, but he however, believes bringing inflation back to target should remain the priority for the country.

“There are stark divergences also between countries that call for careful calibration of monetary policy.

“Going forward, policymakers should prioritize measures that help preserve or even enhance the resilience of the global economy.

“A key priority is to rebuild fiscal buffers, especially in an environment with high real interest rates, modest growth, and elevated debts.

Unfortunately planned fiscal adjustments are often insufficient and could be derailed further given the record number of elections this year,” Gourinchas said.

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Nigeria’s finance ministry unveils system to monitor tax exemptions

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Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance has unveiled the Incentive Monitoring and Evaluation Platform (IMEP), a cutting-edge computer system meant to make it easier to keep an eye on the tax costs connected to import duty exemption certificates.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Wale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, said it was part of a larger plan to cut down on tax spending and make sure that fiscal policies were helping the country’s economy grow.

Edun said the IMEP was meant to change how the Federal Ministry of Finance figures out how much the tax breaks for businesses, non-governmental organizations, and foreign groups affect the economy.

Since President Bola Tinubu took office, Nigeria’s government has been trying to change the country’s fiscal and monetary policies. This has led to bold moves by both the central bank and the tax advisory committee run by Taiwo Oyedele.

Edun said the ministry wanted to improve the monitoring and review of these exemptions by putting in place a strong automated tool. He talked about how the IMEP has many useful features, such as a mechanism for clawing back duties, electronic report generation, a central database for tracking, factory geo-location tagging, industry qualification status validation, integration with many government agencies, and sending demand notices to people who don’t pay their taxes.

“One of the critical objectives of the IMEP is to provide a framework that will prevent ineligible applicants from receiving tax benefits, enforce compliance with fiscal policy measures, and offer a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of tax incentives.

“By doing so, the ministry hopes to curb the misuse of tax expenditures, support the realisation of economic outcomes from fiscal incentives, and enhance the direct measurement of tax incentives’ effects on the economy,” he noted.

Edun says the system is meant to give a framework to checkmate and limit applicants who aren’t qualified, make sure that strict fiscal policy measures are followed, and give a strong analysis of how tax incentives affect the economy.

“Overall, the introduction of the IMEP represents a significant step towards reducing the cost of tax expenditure and ensuring that tax incentives have a positive impact on the Nigerian economy. This initiative is part of the government’s commitment to fostering transparency, accountability, and efficiency in the management of the nation’s resources,” he explained.

In December, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) said it granted three years of tax exemption to 34 companies in 2023.

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