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DR Congo shuts South African-based tech firm, Vodacom, over tax matters

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South African-based tech firm, Vodacom has confirmed that its offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo have sealed over tax-related matters.

Vodacom said in a statement, “On December 6 and 7, 2022, agents of the General Directorate of Taxes (DGI) presented themselves at our technical, commercial, and administrative offices and proceeded with the installation of seals.”

According to statement said by Vodacom, the matter relates to a tax audit which dates back to 2016-2019 by the DGI, which resulted in an adjustment of $243 million in July 2021.

Vodacom claimss that the tax agency has moved to seize its funds, despite an appeal that reduced the assessment to $165 million, which it is also appealing,

The government has tried to control price for phone operators but has refused the companies to raise prices for consumer.

The company said it has “continue to use all the means of recourse provided by the legislation in force to ensure that the law is established and is awaiting the outcome of the procedures underway before the various competent judicial and administrative bodies.”

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Progress as Kenya’s January 2023 inflation rate slows to 9.0%

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The Kenyan statistics office has revealed that the country’s inflation rate slowed to 9.0% year-on-year in January from 9.1% a month earlier.

The latest inflation figure makes it the third straight month that inflation has fallen in the East African country. The figure hit 9.6% in October, its highest level since May 2017. January’s inflation is still above the government’s preferred band of 2.5%-7.5%.

The statement by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that on a monthly basis, inflation was 0.2% compared with 0.5% in December.

Inflation inched down to 9.1% in December, the second straight month of decrease, but still above the government’s preferred band of 2.5-7.5%.

Kenya’s central bank on Monday announced a new monetary policy holding its benchmark lending rate steady at 8.75%.

According to African Development Bank, Kenyan economic growth is projected to decelerate to 5.9% in 2022 and 5.7% in 2023, driven on the demand side by a decline in domestic and external demand caused by lower income and by an increase in food and fuel import costs and on the supply side by tepid economic activity across sectors due to cost-push factors.

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Nigeria’s legislature approves extra $2.2 bln central bank loans to government

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Nigeria’s debt crisis isn’t going away anytime soon as the country’s lower house of parliament has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to borrow an extra $2.2 billion.

According to the lawmakers, the approval is in temporary advance from the country’s central bank.

Nigeria’s minister of Finance in December made the revelation that the country will henceforth focus on concessionary loans from the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, African Development Bank, and others for external loans, Ahmed told Reuters in Abuja after a cabinet meeting.

The legislators plan to discuss with officials in order to turn central bank loans to the government worth 23.7 trillion naira ($52 billion) into long-term debt.

President Buhari asked parliament in December for approval to convert central bank’s temporary advance to government into 40-year bonds at 9% interest to cut interest payments but lawmakers questioned the plan.

Government debt in Nigeria averaged 73641.06 USD Million from 2012 until 2022, reaching an all-time high of 103312.80 USD Million in the second quarter of 2022 and a record low of 48361.37 USD Million in the first quarter of 2013.

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