The House of Representatives has descended heavily on Indorama Group over alleged sharp practices relating to evasion of tax running into billions of naira.
The House further accused the conglomerate of using several other companies beside the three it claimed to have officially registered in Nigeria in order to secure waivers from the federal government since 2006 to date.
The following resolutions were reached on Friday when Indorama, National Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts (PAC).
Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Oluwole Oke (PDP Osun) had asked that the representative of the Indorama Group take an oath to affirm that they had only three registered companies operational in Nigeria.
The vice chairman of the company, Mr. Amil Leuma took the oath on behalf of the group to affirm that they had only three registered companies in the country namely: Indorama Petrochemical, Indorama Fertilizers and Indorama Oil Industrial Services.
But in a swift reaction, Mr. Oke interjected, saying “you are lying on oath. You have more than three companies operating in Nigeria so why are you lying to this Committee and the rest of Nigerians?”, he interrogated.
The company representative however insisted it has only three registered companies, saying: “We have three companies in Nigeria – Petrochemical, Fertilizers and the Indorama Oil and Industrial Services.
The company started in 1995 (but) from 2001 to 2006 there was zero production so we started off in 2006.”
When asked for the addresses of the aforementioned companies, Mr. Leuma said they were located in Eleme, Rivers State but had different operational plants.
The committee was yet not satistied and a resolution was adopted by members to pay an oversight visit to ascertain the true position.
Contributing on the matter, Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Mr. Mohammed Lami, who was asked to appear before the committee, said his agency has nothing to do with waivers or pioneer status.
Mr. Nami, who tendered an unreserved apology to the committee for his inability to appear before it earlier, said the investigation of Indorama by the parliament dates back to 2015 and that FIRS has always provided information as requested.
He said: “The FIRS does not have the power or responsibility of facilitating or implementing Incentives to local investors or investors coming through the Foreign Direct Investment platform, which is the sole prerogative of the Nigerian Investment romotion Commission (NIPC)” adding:
“The investigation of the three foreign firms, Indorama Petrochemical, Indorama Fertilizer and Petrochemical Ltd and OIS INDORAMA Eleme Port-Harcourt, started way back in 2015.
The committee in charge of the investigation has consistently been furnished with all required documents by the FIRS”.
According to him, the companies “have been variously granted pioneer status between December 15th, 1997 to 2016 for the Indorama Petrochemical Ltd and between 2017- 2020 for the Indorama Fertilizer and Chemicals Ltd respectively.
“Upon expiration of the pioneer period and conclusion of post pioneer Audit, the Indorama Petrochemical Ltd company’s tax file was returned to the Large Tax Office (LTO) Port Harcourt. Thus far, the company has filed its annual returns up to 31st December 2019 with relevant Self-Assessment and paid its attendant liabilities”
Recall that the committee had written a letter of invitation dated 27th May, 2021 to the Executive Chairman of the FIRS to appear at its public hearing slated for 9 June 2021 on alleged revenue leakages involving the three foreign firms
Bitcoin Rallies Towards $52K, Ethereum Consolidates, Altcoins In Uptrend
Bitcoin price gained bullish momentum above USD 50,000. Ethereum is consolidating below USD 4,000, XRP surged above the USD 1.30 resistance. QNT and FTM are up over 28%.
Bitcoin price remained well bid and it started a fresh increase above the USD 50,000 resistance. BTC gained nearly 4% and it even broke USD 51,500. It is currently (11:35 WAT) consolidating gains below the USD 52,000 resistance zone.
Besides, most major altcoins are also rising. ETH is holding gains, but it is facing resistance near the USD 4,000 zone. XRP is up over 6% and it broke the USD 1.30 resistance. ADA is still struggling to clear the USD 3.00 resistance zone.
After a successful close above USD 50,000, bitcoin price gained bullish momentum. BTC broke many hurdles near USD 51,000 and USD 51,200. It even traded close to USD 52,000 before the bears appeared. It is now consolidating gains below the USD 52,000 resistance. If there is an upside break above USD 52,000, the price could rise towards the USD 53,000 level.
On the downside, the price could find support near the USD 51,200 level. The main support is now forming near the USD 50,500 level.
Ethereum price made another attempt to clear the USD 4,000 resistance, but it failed. As a result, ETH corrected lower below USD 3,950.
However, the bulls were active near the USD 3,850 level. The price is now consolidating above USD 3,900, with many hurdles near USD 3,980 and USD 4,000.
If there is another downside correction, the price could find support near USD 3,850. The next major support is near the USD 3,800 level.
ADA, LTC, DOGE, and XRP price
Cardano (ADA) failed to stay above USD 3.00 and corrected lower. However, downsides were limited below USD 2.85. The price is now stuck in a range below the USD 3.00 resistance. A close above USD 3.00 could start a stronger increase.
Litecoin (LTC) broke many hurdles near USD 200 and USD 212. LTC even cleared USD 220 and it is now consolidating gains. An immediate resistance is near the USD 230 level. A clear break above USD 230 and USD 232 could open the doors for a move towards the USD 250 level.
Dogecoin (DOGE) is up over 4% and it broke the USD 0.312 resistance. The next major resistance is near the USD 0.320 level. Any more gains might lead the price towards the USD 0.335 level. If not, there might be a downside correction towards the USD 0.300 level.
XRP price gained pace above the USD 1.30 resistance. It is up over 6% and it even cleared the USD 1.32 resistance. There was a spike towards the USD 1.34 level, where the bulls faced resistance. XRP is now consolidating around USD 1.32, with support near USD 0.305 and USD 0.300.
Other altcoins market today
Many altcoins are up over 5%, including QNT, FTM, FIL, OMG, LINK, LUNA, QTUM, AMP, HT, ICP, ALGO, ATOM, CRO, EOS, and COMP. Out of these, QNT rallied over 41% and it surpassed the USD 335 level.
Overall, bitcoin price settled well above the USD 50,000 resistance zone. If BTC continues to rise and clears USD 52,000, there could be a move towards USD 53,000 or USD 53,500.
Bitcoin Above USD 50K, Ethereum Eyes USD 4K, SOL Extends Rally
Bitcoin price recovered losses and it climbed above USD 49,200. BTC is currently (11:46 UTC) trading above USD 50,000. A close above this level could push the price higher in the near term.
Besides, most major altcoins are trading in a positive zone. ETH regained strength and it broke the USD 3,900 level. XRP is consolidating near the USD 1.265 support. ADA could regain momentum if it settles above the USD 3.00 resistance.
Total market capitalization
After a short-term downside correction, bitcoin price started a fresh increase above USD 49,000. BTC surpassed USD 49,500 and USD 50,000. A successful close above USD 50,000 could start a fresh rally. The next major resistance is near USD 52,000. An intermediate resistance might be USD 51,200.
If there is a downside correction, the price might find support near USD 49,200. The next major support is now forming near the USD 48,500 level.
Ethereum price started a fresh rally above the USD 3,800 resistance. ETH is up almost 6% and it traded close to the USD 4,000 level. If there is a break above USD 4,000, the price might rise towards the USD 4,200 level.
If there is a downside correction, the price might find bids near the USD 3,900 level. The next major support is near the USD 3,850 level.
ADA, LTC, DOGE, and XRP price
Cardano (ADA) corrected lower below the USD 3.00 level. It even tested the USD 2.90 level and is consolidating in a range. If there is a fresh increase, the price could accelerate higher towards the USD 3.10 and USD 3.12 levels. The next major resistance is near the USD 3.20 level.
Litecoin (LTC) is gaining pace and it cleared the USD 188 resistance zone. The main hurdle is now near the USD 200 level. A close above USD 200 could start another increase. If there is a downside correction, the price might find support near USD 185. The next major support is now forming near the USD 180 level.
Dogecoin (DOGE) is struggling to clear the USD 0.300 resistance. If the bulls succeed, the price could rise towards the USD 0.312 level. The next major resistance is near the USD 0.320 level. On the downside, the price may possibly remain stable above the USD 0.280 level.
XRP price failed to clear USD 1.295 and USD 1.300. It corrected lower and it traded below USD 1.280. The price is now stuck near USD 1.265. The next major support is near USD 1.25, below which there is a risk of a major decline. Conversely, the price could visit the USD 1.30 resistance zone.
Other altcoins market today
Many altcoins gained over 5%, including SOL, REV, NEAR, CEL, AUDIO, MIOTA, AVAX, BTT, HOT, ALGO, ZIL, LINK, and ICX. Out of these, SOL rallied over 20% and it trades near USD 140.
To sum up, bitcoin price is now attempting an upside break above USD 50,000. If BTC succeeds, it could rise further towards the USD 52,000 level.
Apple plans to loosen App Store payment policy
Apple announced on Wednesday it will loosen some of its App Store policies, allowing media apps to steer customers directly to their websites without paying commission.
The change, to be implemented early next year, is being introduced to end an investigation by the Japan Fair Trade Commission.
The modification will spare so-called reader apps that provide digital content such as newspapers, books, music or video from having to use the App Store payment system and thus avoid paying a 30 percent commission.
“We have great respect for the Japan Fair Trade Commission and appreciate the work we’ve done together, which will help developers of reader apps make it easier for users to set up and manage their apps and services while protecting their privacy and maintaining their trust,” Apple Fellow Phil Schiller said in a blog post.
Developers of the digital content apps will be able to link to their websites where users can create or manage accounts, according to Apple.
While the change resulted from an agreement with the JFTC, it will apply globally to all reader apps at the App Store, the Silicon Valley tech giant said.
Apple has come under fire for its tight control of the App Store, where developers are required to use its payment system.
Apple charges a commission of as much as 30 percent on sales of digital content or subscriptions at the App Store, with the payment system making certain the company gets its piece of the action.
“Because developers of reader apps do not offer in-app digital goods and services for purchase, Apple agreed with the JFTC to let developers of these apps share a single link to their website to help users set up and manage their account,” Apple said in a post.
Apple last week agreed to loosen payment restrictions on its App Store, a major change announced in a settlement with small developers as the US technology giant faces growing scrutiny and legal challenges over its tightly controlled online marketplace.
The change will allow small developers to inform their customers of alternative payment options beyond the official App Store.
In a class-action lawsuit, the developers had accused Apple of monopolistic distribution practices by operating the sole gateway to get apps or other content onto iPhones and other devices powered by iOS software.
The proposed settlement is pending court approval.
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