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Zimplats Spends $50m Procuring Zimbabwean Goods


Ventures Africa

August 5, 2013

VENTURES AFRICA – Zimplats has paid $50 million into the acquisition of goods from Zimbabwe’s small and medium companies in the quarter to June this year, it said on Monday.

Zimbabwe’s biggest platinum miner said this amount was 16 percent more than the money it spent in the first quarter of this year.

The firm’s local capital injection surged from $42 million to a little more than $49 million during the period under review.

It said this is in keeping with Zimplats duty to the advancement of local companies.

It is understood that the state of Zimbabwe is planning to introduce a policy that will not allow procurement of raw materials by external companies. The state is inclined to prefer Zimbabwean companies only.

During the period under review, Zimplats, which is a wholly-owned company of Impala Platinum, has disclosed that it has disbursed $30 million in taxes to Robert Mugabe’s dispensation.

It said this was 6 percent lesser than the quarter ended March because of a sharp decline in corporate tax disbursement due to weaker prices.

During the quarter under review, platinum prices sagged 10 percent than in the previous quarter.

Palladium and rhodium prices plunged 4 and 2 percent, individually.

Algeria: Parallel economy slows Algerian development


News24.com

March 14th, 2012

AlgiersAlgeria‘s parallel economy and tax evasion cost the state colossal sums and undermine development in the resource-rich north African country, officials and experts say.

About half of Algeria’s 35 000 registered importers – 15 000 of them – are on a national blacklist of swindlers and tax evaders, according to Algeria’s anti-fraud chief Abdelhamid Boukahnoun.

Of those, 12 000 failed to submit company accounts, and the rest were put on the list for illicit trading practices, said Boukahnoun, head of the commerce ministry‘s Control and Fraud Prevention Department.

Operators who are on the list cannot engage in foreign trade or bid for public contracts, and they are deprived of tax advantages.

Trade Minister Mustapha Benbada says the black market accounts for half the revenue made by Algerian businesses.

“Most of the above-board economic agents, who are registered with the trade ministry, are involved in black economy practices,” Benbada told an international business meeting in the capital Algiers on Monday. “Half their revenue is generated by the black economy.”

Over the past three years, unbilled transactions have accounted for 155 billion dinars, according to estimates by his ministry.

But Boukahnoun said the true figure is far higher, closer to €10bn since 2009, and experts estimate that the parallel economy accounts for between 20 and 40 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

They note that businesses are forced to buy raw materials as well as finished goods from the black market.

Economic dysfunction

As a result, large sums of money circulate outside the banking system to the detriment of the economy, Benbada says.

The former French colony draws the lion’s share of its income from oil and gas while struggling to develop its industrial sector.

The use of payment means other than cash – cheques, transfers and the like – is the only way to guarantee transparency, experts note.

The government tried to require wholesalers to use cheques for transactions over €3 000, but had to back down in January 2011 after riots over soaring food costs claimed five lives and injured hundreds.

Analysts blamed the riots on fears among wholesalers that they would have to pay more in taxes, prompting them to raise their prices.

Benbada said the government had not scrapped the idea, and would try again after “laying the groundwork better.”

Nacer Eddine Hammouda, a researcher at Algeria’s Applied Economic Research Centre for Development, said “economic dysfunction” makes a parallel economy inevitable because the formal sector cannot provide enough jobs to go around.

Unemployment among Algerian youths, which reached 50% 10 years ago, has come down to 21%, according to the International Monetary Fund.

While lamenting the black market, Trade Minister Benbada acknowledged that “it is socially useful as it allows tens of thousands of families to make a living”.

“The weakness of the non-market economy, the non-competitive, monopolistic market, as well as the system of pricing that does not reflect market realities are elements that cause the informal sector to expand,” he said.

Nigeria: Ogoni Leader Welcomes U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Shell Case


Voice of America

James Butty

October 18, 2011

The president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People [MOSOP] said his group welcomes the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear a dispute between the Ogoni people and Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company.

The high court justices agreed Monday to hear a federal appeal by a group of Nigerians who alleged that shell was complicit in torture, wrongful deaths and other human rights abuses committed by Nigerian authorities against environmental campaigners during the 1990s.

MOSOP President Ledum Mitee said the decision sends the right message that Shell must be held to account.

“It is quite a refreshing news coming at this time, and I think it sends the right message that clearly, even though there have been delays in getting there, but at least we can see light at the end of the tunnel that someday Shell will be held to account,” he said…Read more.

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