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UN Assembly Panel Recommend A Global Minimum Tax.

The team also recommends that the Escrow accounts, managed by regional development banks, should be used to manage frozen or seized assets until they can be legally returned.

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By KURIAN MUSA

Kurian.musa@correspondent.africa

A global minimum tax is one of the main recommendations of the Report on Financial Integrity for Sustainable Development – presented last February by a United Nations high-level panel convened by the United Nations General Assembly.

The report of the High Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda was Co-chaired by H.E. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, former prime minister of Niger, and H.E. Dalia Grybauskaitė, former president of Lithuania has now been released. It has up to 14 strategic recommendations, to promote reform, redesign and revitalize the global financial system so that it conforms to four values – accountability, legitimacy, transparency, and fairness.

“As the pandemic continues, wreaking havoc on our health and economies, and exacerbating inequality, we see ever more clearly the need for greater public resources to invest in recovery. We also realise the urgent need to restore trust in national and international governance,” Ibrahim Assane Mayaki jointly stated.

In a way towards post-covid19 recovery, the panel stated that recommendations are not enough. There is a need of all people contributing through their actions with support of Political leadership, both at the national and international levels.

Ibrahim Assane Mayaki said: “Governments must come together to agree on new solutions for financial integrity. The private sector must meet higher standards. Civil society and the media have to help hold the powerful accountable.”

The Panel proposes a Global Pact for Financial Integrity for Sustainable Development based on countries’ priorities. It was observed that mobilisation of public resources, internationally and domestically, can be enhanced, through curbing illicit financial flows.

Beyond tracking Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), stopping them, and returning assets, the Panel recommended to use them to finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Further suggestions to involve diverse stakeholders in policy making was made. To hold governments accountable to agreed standards; the media should be protected; and a push to include the civil society in policy-making.

Recommendations

All countries should enact legislation providing for the widest possible range of legal tools to pursue cross-border financial crimes.

The International Community should develop and agree on common international standards for settlements in cross-border corruption cases. Businesses should hold accountable all executives, staff and board members who foster or tolerate illicit financial flows in the name of their businesses.

A UN Tax Convention should be held to initiate the process of establishing the International tax norms, particularly tax-transparency standards through an open and inclusive legal instrument with universal participation. The panel says the creation of an impartial and fair mechanism to resolve international tax disputes, under the UN Tax Convention would resolve the current impasses.

More stringent measures International anti-money-laundering standards were made, calling for all countries creating a centralised registry for holding beneficial ownership information on all legal vehicles. The standards should encourage countries to make the information public.

Under the Regulations, a beneficial owner is a natural person who directly or indirectly: holds at least ten percent (10%) of the issued shares of the company; exercises at least ten percent (10%) of the voting rights in the company; exercises significant influence or control over a company. It was agreed that designating an entity to collect and disseminate data on enforcement of money-laundering standards, including beneficial ownership information would be key milestone.

Another area, is to Improve tax transparency by having all private multinational entities publish accounting and financial information on a country-by-country basis.

There are gaps in the policy and laws towards emergency responses. the panel recommended that Building on existing voluntary efforts, all countries should strengthen public procurement and contracting transparency, including transparency of emergency measures taken to respond to COVID-19.

The panelists also proposed the creation of an International Compact on Implementing Financial Integrity for Sustainable Development to coordinate capacity building. Adding the need to extend existing capacity building that tackles tax abuse, corruption, money-laundering, financial crime and asset recovery.

Countries will be required to do self-reporting to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), on the implementation review mechanism to improve comprehensiveness, inclusiveness, impartiality, transparency and especially monitoring.

Another key recommendation is for the International Community to develop minimum standards of protection for human right defenders, anticorruption advocates, investigative journalists and whistleblowers. States should consider incorporating these standards in a legally binding international instrument.

The team also recommends that the Escrow accounts, managed by regional development banks, should be used to manage frozen or seized assets until they can be legally returned.

It was also recommended that Tax payers, especially multinational corporations, should pay their fair share of taxes. The UN Tax Convention should provide for effective capital gains taxation. Taxation must be equitably applied on services delivered digitally. This requires taxing multinational corporations based on group global profit.

The team also proposed the creation of fairer rules and stronger incentives to combat tax competition, tax avoidance and tax evasion, starting with an agreement on a global minimum corporate tax.

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Energy

Sahara Foundation Promotes Clean Energy With Sahara Impact Fund

The Sahara Impact Fund will provide seed funding of $5,000 each for successful finalists, including incremental funding access based on impact, reach and sustainability matrices targeted at supporting young social entrepreneurs in Africa.

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Sahara Foundation, the corporate citizenship vehicle of energy and infrastructure conglomerate, Sahara Group, has launched the 2nd Cohort of the Sahara Impact Fund (SIF) and the Governance Unusual Program to support social innovators  creating solutions that increase access to clean energy and promote sustainable environments.

 The project reinforces Sahara Group’s commitment to bringing energy to life responsibly by connecting social innovators with opportunities that will enhance their contribution to eradicating energy poverty and enhancing environmental sustainability. The SIF is a strategic partnership involving Sahara Foundation, Ford Foundation, LEAP Africa and Impact Investors Foundation.

The Sahara Impact Fund will provide seed funding of $5,000 each for successful finalists, including incremental funding access based on impact, reach and sustainability matrices targeted at supporting young social entrepreneurs in Africa. In addition, the Fellows will have mentoring sessions with business leaders at Sahara Group and other private sector partners, to scale up clean energy and sustainable environment innovations.

The inaugural cohort of the SIF produced Fellows from Cameroon, Nigeria, Rwanda and Malawi who are spearheading transformative solutions through their businesses. According to Damilola Asaleye, Co- founder- Ashdam Solar “The learnings from the Sahara Impact Fund fellowship have become a daily guide for my organization to achieve our strategic plans of providing access to clean and affordable energy for all in Nigeria.”

“In addition to the seed capital, which was a great boost to my business, I have also built professional networks with like-minded passionate entrepreneurs from all over Africa,” said Ghislain Irakoze , Founder, Wastezon, Rwanda.

Pearl Uzokwe, Director, Sahara Foundation, said the Sahara Impact Fund and Governance Unusual program will reinforce ongoing conversations around increasing entrepreneurial capacity and inspiring a paradigm shift in governance through individual responsibility. “We are delighted to lead and join the quest of ensuring that no one is left behind when it comes to energy access and shore up expertise and capacity towards providing global solutions for environmental sustainability. We urge social innovators across Africa to apply to be part of this movement today,” she said.

Uzokwe said applications for the SIF are open from 9th May 2022 to 30th May 2022. “Full details of the application process are available across our social media platforms @iamsaharafdn and the Ujana Hub at www.ujanahub.com. Enquiries can also be sent to sahara.foundation@sahara-group.com,” she added.

The maiden edition in 2021 exposed the ten (10) social innovator fellows to blended capacity building sessions in the form of workshops, webinars, immersion sessions, facility tours, cohort meetings, mentoring sessions, one-on-one strategy & finance sessions and Fire chat sessions.

Since inception, Sahara Foundation has implemented various projects across its locations in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, impacting the lives of over 2,000,000 beneficiaries, with youth accounting for over 50% of the beneficiaries.

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Energy

Asharami Synergy Targets 30% Aviation Fuel Market Share To Enhance Economic Growth

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Asharami Synergy Limited, a Sahara Group Downstream Company, is investing in technology and innovative solutions to enhance its capacity to fuel seamless economic growth through operations in the aviation fuel market.

Asharami Synergy Limited, which is Nigeria’s first indigenous energy company to operate as an independent Aviation Fuel Marketer, controls about 25 percent market share in the industry, operating as the preferred aviation fuel market for local and international airlines.

Foluso Sobanjo, Head, Sahara Downstream Business, at a press briefing in Lagos, said investments in infrastructure, human capital transformation, quality, health,  safety, and environmental sustainability continues to drive service excellence in the organisation.

He said Asharami Synergy would leverage its technology driven supply chain efficiency across the Downstream value chain to deliver distinctive value and innovative solutions in the market. “We have been at the forefront of Oil and Gas enterprise in the West African region for over twenty years.”

In addition, “Asharami Synergy has a formidable presence in the sector, providing best-in-class fuel procurement and distribution solutions by utilizing innovative technology and improved efficiency across the downstream supply chain. Our quest for increased market share is borne out of our commitment to transforming the sector and spurring economic development,” Sobanjo said.

Asharami Synergy operates in four countries in the Africa and has a combined storage capacity of 81 million litres of Aviation fuel otherwise known as ATK.

The company has over 30 million litres storage capacity for ATK across various locations in Nigeria as well as a fleet of ultramodern bowsers spread across various locations, fueling the development and growth of the national and sub-regional economy by providing seamless access to safe and reliable ATK.

Sobanjo said “safety first and always” is the mantra that drives operations in Asharami Asharami Synergy, a development that has earned the company multiple International Standard Organisation certifications.

He said being a strategic partner of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) gives Asharami Synergy a global credibility that is driven by a statutory self-responsibility that propels its business operations in compliance with the highest global standards.

“Asharami Synergy has several ISO certifications; ISO 9001:2015 (Quality), ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental) and ISO 45001:2018 (Occupational Health and Safety). This reinforces our commitment to bringing energy to life responsibly in all our operations. Our mantra is Safety First, Safety Always, ensuring that the health and safety of our employees and other stakeholders remains top priority in all business operations,” he added.

Asharami Synergy is a vertically integrated and foremost downstream company in the West African region with established and formidable presence in the sector, providing best-in-class fuel procurement and distribution solutions by utilizing innovative technology and improved efficiency across the downstream supply chain for over twenty years.

The company emerged from a consolidation of Sahara Group Downstream Companies with interest in procurement, storage, and distribution of white products across Nigeria.

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Business

Video: Oppo Reno 7 Launch

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Did you miss the big launch? Here is Bahati the singer and his wife during the Monday virtual launch of the Oppo Reno 7 phone in Kenya.

The colourful launch gives  the phone a leverage in the market ahead of the rest.

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