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Alibaba shares plunge as Beijing ‘seeks to break up Ant’s Alipay

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Shares in the Chinese technology company Alibaba have fallen sharply after reports said regulators wanted to break up Alipay, the payments app with more than 1 billion users owned by Jack Ma’s Ant Group.

Beijing is seeking to create a separate app for the company’s highly profitable loans businesses, in the latest crackdown on China’s technology sector by the state’s authorities.

Chinese regulators are reportedly concerned at the financial risk building in the economy; Alipay’s loans business helped issue about 10% of the country’s non-mortgage consumer loans last year.

Regulators have already ordered Ant Group to separate the back end of its two lending businesses, Huabei and Jiebei,from the rest of its financial offerings.

Beijing wants the two businesses to be split into a separate independent app, while also requiring Ant to share user data to a new credit-scoring joint venture that would be partly state-owned, according to the Financial Times. State-owned companies in Ant’s home province, including the Zhejiang Tourism Investment Group, would hold a majority stake in the new joint venture.

The news sent shares in Alibaba down as much as 6% in trading on Monday as the wider Hang Seng Tech index, which tracks China’s biggest tech groups listed in Hong Kong, fell more than 3% over investor concerns about the latest crackdown.

The business empire of Jack Ma, the co-founder of Ant Group and Alibaba, has become a lightning rod in the crackdown on big tech by Chinese regulators.

In April, Alibaba paid a record $2.8bn (£2bn) fine to settle an investigation by Chinese regulators into anti-competitive practices at the company.

Authorities began to focus on businesses owned by Ma, one of China’s most popular, outspoken and wealthiest entrepreneurs, after he gave a blunt speech last year criticising national regulators, which reportedly infuriated the president, Xi Jinping.

After the comments, Chinese regulators blocked the $34bn stock market flotation of Ant Group, which would have been the biggest share offering in history.

In March, Beijing ordered Alibaba to sell off some of its media assets, including Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post.

Source: (The Guardian)


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Osun presents 2020 audited accounts

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Oyetola’s administration committed to accountability, openness, probity – Auditor-General 
as State IGR skyrockets to N19.6b


The Government of the State of Osun on Tuesday presented the audited financial accounts of the State for the 2020 fiscal year.
The audited financial reports were made public as part of efforts to keep the citizens abreast of the financial status of the State, showcase prudence in the management of the available resources and, by extension, strengthen the existing public trust and confidence that have been the hallmarks of the Administration.


The audited accounts as presented revealed the astronomical improvement in the State Internally Generated Revenue from 2018 to 2020 as a total sum of N13,805,843,339.25 was generated in 2018; N17,720,122,360.44  in 2019 and N19,642,333,010.68 in 2020 respectively.
This is even as the Auditor-General of the State, Mr. Folorunso Adesina, lauded the high sense of commitment of the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola-led Administration to ensure accountability, transparency and probity in the management of the State’s resources.
Recall that the 2019 audited account was presented earlier this year due to the adverse effects of the protracted Coronavirus pandemic that has been ravaging the universe.
The summary of the Audited Financial Statements as presented puts the Total Revenue (inflows) at N99,048,740,967.00 and Total Recurrent and Capital Expenditure (outflows) at N86,470,726,806.86 respectively.
The Net Balance on Total Revenue and Total Expenditure was N12,578,014,160.14 and Opening Balance as at January 1st, 2020 was N10,356,616,311.14 while the Total Closing Balance as at December 31st, 2020 was N22,934,627,471.28 respectively.


Analysis of Recurrent Expenditure indicates that Personnel Expenditure has N28,748,672,359.37 and Recurrent Expenditure has N17,928,291,392.63.
Also, analysis of Capital Expenditure indicates that Administrative Sector has N5,392,638,753.82; Economic has N27,896,438,968.24; Law and Justice has N58,309,514.17 and Social has N6,416,375,818.63 respectively.
While reeling out the audited reports of the finances of the State for the year 2020 at the Audit Forum held at Leisure Spring Hotel, Osogbo, Adesina said Public Finance Management (PFM) reform under the leadership of Governor Oyetola, has got a boost by becoming one of the pioneer States to assist and implement Audit Act in Nigeria, a feat the Federal Government is yet to attain.


He said the presentation of the 2020 fiscal account would make Osun to consolidate on its pacesetter status among the comity of states in the country and further build public trust and confidence in governance.
Adesina who highlighted the sterling performance of the State so far, particularly within the Audit Year under review, said it was generally discovered that Government executed people-oriented programmes as prudence was put in the forefront towards good governance.
According to him, economic and social sector took about 86.22% of the Total Capital Expenditure which was responsible for government’s ability to build, rehabilitate, revitalise and deliver for public use over 300 Primary Healthcare Centres as at the time of the report.


“Audit visitation to location of the health centres and health equipment supplied, including consumables was confirmation of this government priority for the well-being of the masses.
“Also on infrastructure, the Office through the monitoring team inspected roads construction embarked upon and completed by the State such as Moro-Yakoyo-Ipetumodu-Asipa road; Ada-Igbajo road; Overlay of Oke-Gada-Army Baracks road, Ede; Ereja roundabout-Eregun-Isaare-Oke-Oye road, Ilesa; Akindeko-Awosuru-Alekuwodo road; various rural electrification projects spread across the State among others, and it was discovered that best available standards were used in the various constructions, thereby making available to the masses, good and solid infrastructure which have impacts positively on the lives of the people and have helped to transform the socioeconomic status of the State.


“Audit also visited some renovated schools and the educational materials supplied like desks, chairs, books, shelves among others were inspected across the State and it was discovered that their amenities were effective and efficient for the target masses,” Adesina explained.
Giving the financial position of the State as at December 31st, 2020, Adesina said, Total Asset was N153,895,719,326.64; Total Liabilities was N90,720,513,278.69 and Net/Equity was put at N63,175,206,047.95.


On budget performance, the Auditor-General said Goverment had performed credibly on its revenue generation efforts, most especially on IGR as reported in the comparison of revenue between previous years.
“The accounts of the State Government of Osun for the year ended 31st December, 2020 have been audited by me in accordance with the provision of Section 125 Subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). 
“I have certified the individual accounts ( statement of cash flow, statement of financial performance, statement of financial position, statement of change in assets/equity, statement of comparison between budget and actual notes to the accounts) as correct object to clarified observations.


“In fulfilling the provisions of the extant requirements, my office within the financial year under review, carried out Financial Audit in accordance with professional standards and regulations to determine whether the accounts have been satisfactorily and faithfully kept through audit trail of transactions.
“We equally carried out Appropriation Audit to ensure that funds are expended as appropriated by the State House of Assembly as well as Compliance Audit to ensure that laid-down rules, regulations and procedures are being observed in tendering, supplying, contracting and storekeeping with a view to ensure strict adherence to the provisions of the Acts of Parliament.


“As the watchdog of public finances, we monitored all government projects and all forms of disbursement to ensure that all officers carried out their duties in a transparent way and in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations.
“Projects and programmes executed were satisfactory in consideration of funds employed and financial statement 1-5 and related schedules give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the State Government of Osun at 31st December, 2020,” he added.
Earlier, Speaker, Osun House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye lauded the Administration of Governor Oyetola for running an all inclusive and participatory government.


Owoeye who was represented by the Chairman House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Gbenga Ogunkanmi reaffirmed the House’s commitment to continue to ensure check and balances in the management of the State in general and public treasury in particular.

In his remarks, the Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade applauded the financial prowess of the Administration of Governor Oyetola to maintain and sustain the economy of the State despite the daunting challenges.

Oyebade who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Human Resources and Capacity Building, Mr. Leye Aina, described the public presentation of the Audited Accounts as an indication to the fact that Oyetola’s administration was open to all.

“It shows the Governor means business, it shows he knows what he is doing. It takes someone who is honest, transparent and accountable to be able to sustain this. For us to be able to maintain and sustain this also shows that the Governor is serious about the finances of the State. It shows he is a thorough leader. 

“This is a way of telling the public that the government is open to criticism. It shows that the government is ready to show the book of accounts to public as probity, accountability, transparency and honesty are prioritised. This shows that government has nothing to hide and that it has no skeleton in the cupboard,” Oyebade added. 

The Audit Forum had in attendance members of the Civil Society Organizations; Stakeholders, Heads of Non-Governmental Organizations; top government functionaries, professional bodies, artisans among others. Earlier, Speaker, Osun House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye lauded the Administration of Governor Oyetola for running an all inclusive and participatory government.


Owoeye who was represented by the Chairman House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Gbenga Ogunkanmi reaffirmed the House’s commitment to continue to ensure check and balances in the management of the State in general and public treasury in particular.
In his remarks, the Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade applauded the financial prowess of the Administration of Governor Oyetola to maintain and sustain the economy of the State despite the daunting challenges.
Oyebade who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Human Resources and Capacity Building, Mr. Leye Aina, described the public presentation of the Audited Accounts as an indication to the fact that Oyetola’s administration was open to all.
“It shows the Governor means business, it shows he knows what he is doing. It takes someone who is honest, transparent and accountable to be able to sustain this. For us to be able to maintain and sustain this also shows that the Governor is serious about the finances of the State. It shows he is a thorough leader. 
“This is a way of telling the public that the government is open to criticism. It shows that the government is ready to show the book of accounts to public as probity, accountability, transparency and honesty are prioritised. This shows that government has nothing to hide and that it has no skeleton in the cupboard,” Oyebade added. 


The Audit Forum had in attendance members of the Civil Society Organizations; Stakeholders, Heads of Non-Governmental Organizations; top government functionaries, professional bodies, artisans among others.


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Breaking: Buhari wants National Assembly to amend PIA, few weeks after

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President Muhammadu Buhari is back to the National Assembly to ask lawmakers to tinker with the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), he signed into law on August 16, just five days above a month.

The President is seeking the removal of the Ministers of Petroleum Resources and Finance from the board of the agencies created under the law.

In a letter, to the NASS read separately at their individual chambers by Ahmad Lawan, Senate President and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, for the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, the President is seeking an amendment to the law to make for the appointment of non-Executive and Executive Directors for the agencies created by the law.

The Speaker said the letter will be referred to the appropriate committee of the House for immediate action.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, wrote to the Senate seeking an amendment to the recently enacted Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

The President insisted that the affected Ministers can continue to perform their functions without necessarily being members of the board of NNPC Limited.

Part of the amendment being sought by Buhari on PIA is to increase the number of Non-Executive members of the NNPC Limited Board from two to six to reflect Federal Character.

Buhari, in another letter, transmitted the names of nominees for screening and subsequent confirmation as board members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the NNPCL.


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Ethiopian airlines resumes flight operations from Enugu

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Ethiopian Airlines has announced that its flight to Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu will resume on October 1 this year.

The decision by the airline is coming two years after it suspended its operations in the State.

Ethiopian Airlines General Manager, Shimeles Arage, confirmed the resumption date in a statement issued in Lagos.

“Oct. 1 is Nigeria’s Independence Day and the flight to Enugu on that day will reinforce Ethiopian Airlines’ good relations with Nigeria since the first flight to Nigeria in 1960,” the News Agency of Nigeria quoted Arage.

The Airline had suspended operations back in 2019 when the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria shut down the airport for renovation.

Henrietta Yakubu ,General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN had in August 2019 said “The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, hereby notifies airlines, passengers and all other stakeholders that effective 00:00 on 24th August, 2019, the runway at Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu will be closed for major repairs and works on the airfield.”

But in August 2020, the Federal Government reopened the airport following an official ceremony by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.


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