Lagos has revoked the 2018 land use charge. The government, according to the state’s finance commissioner, Rabiu Olowo, has reverted to pre-2018 land use charges. Olowo said the land use charges for 2017, 2018, and 2019 have also been waived. This is to reduce the financial pressure on Lagosians relating to land use. There was an increase in the Land Use Charge rate in 2018 including the method of valuation of properties. The shock, Olowo said, had a sporadic increase in Land Use Charge payable by property owners. The state’s information commissioner, Gbenga Omotosho, added that penalties for the Land Use Charge for Year 2017,2018 and 2019 have also been waived. This translates to ₦5.75 billion in potential revenue waived by Lagos. This is in addition to the reintroduction of the 15 percent early payment discount, an additional COVID-19 incentive of 10 percent will be granted on the total amount payable. This makes the total discount for early payment 25 percent if payment is made before the due date. The penalty for obstruction of officials and damage to property identification plague has also been reduced from ₦250,000 to ₦100,000. The 2020 LUC Law introduced a 10 percent and 20 percent special relief for vacant properties and open empty land, respectively, Omotosho added.

The MTN Group is planning to sell part or all of its $243 million interest in Jumia Technologies as Africa’s biggest wireless carrier looks to pay down debt and enter new markets, according to people familiar with the matter. The telco, which had previously marked the online retailer as a non-core business, is reviving plans for a sale after Jumia’s shares surged 142% this year, recovering from a dip in 2019, one of the people said. No final decisions about the sale have been made, the people said, asking not to be identified because the plans are private. MTN has been disposing of non-core assets as part of the company’s strategy to reduce debt and drive future growth. It has a 29% stake in IHS Towers, which it may sell in the future, according to report. Africa’s largest wireless carrier by footprint has generated 14 billion rand or $812 million in asset sales that included selling its towers holdings in Ghana and Uganda to American Towers Inc. The company plans include bidding for a license to enter Ethiopia, one of the largest markets that have not yet privatised its telecommunications industry. Jumia operates in 14 African countries including Nigeria and Ivory Coast where the U.S. giant still lacks distribution infrastructure. The company — headquartered in Germany and run by its two French founders, Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara — had dropped below its initial public offering price in 2019 after improper transactions in its Nigeria business were uncovered.

The Islamic State and Al-Qaeda terrorist groups were gradually taking over the West African region after being displaced in Syria and Iraq, The United States Africa Command has said. According to the Commander of the US Special Operations Command, Africa, Maj. Gen. Davin Anderson, the extremist groups have begun deploying strategies to re-establish themselves in the region and expand further in the continent without drawing attention. He said, while speaking during a virtual media briefing, that the Al-Qaeda has expanded in Mali, and had moved into northern Burkina Faso, where they attacked infrastructure, took out local governance and security forces, and are now controlling the local economy and exerting control over the population. Anderson observed that some aggrieved local terrorist groups were being galvanised into a larger ideology and movement, stressing that al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda, was already instigating instability in Somalia in order to destabilise the horn of Africa. The extremist group is exploiting the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel to gain deeper roots in the region and in West Africa with Islamic State, West Africa, and Grand Sahara as they have established affiliates or leverage local grievances and consolidate this into a larger movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, Mozambique, as well as in Somalia, Anderson said. Gen. Anderson said Africa needs to be conscious of their plot and understand how to counter it.

Shoprite Holdings will lay off 115 staff and close another Kenyan store, less than a year after its opening as part of the supermarket’s expansion into the east African country. According to Reuters, in a letter the company addressed to the Kenyan Union of Commercial Food and Allied workers, Shoprite said it will close its City Mall store in Nyali, Mombasa. It added trading would cease before the end of August. Confirming the closure, Shoprite said it was evaluating all of its operations across Africa “based on current and future performance. It said that their only alternative was to terminate the employment of the valued employees that have helped to establish the store. In April, Shoprite closed one of its four stores in Kenya, citing a few months of “trading in a difficult economic climate”, after the store was opened last September. The closure of the Nyali store, which opened on 29 August last year, will leave two in Kenya. Shoprite, the owner of supermarket chain Checkers, has been reviewing its long-term options in Africa as currency devaluations, supply issues and low consumer spending in Angola, Nigeria and Zambia have reduced earnings. On Monday the retailer said it was considering reducing or selling all of its stake in its Nigerian subsidiary.