Daily Watch – Binance faces tax evasion charges, 44-year old wins Senegal election

26th March 2024

Nigeria has filed tax evasion charges against cryptocurrency platform Binance and is seeking an international arrest warrant for the company’s regional manager for Africa, Nadeem Anjarwalla, who fled custody last week, officials said on Monday. Nigeria’s security adviser’s office said it is working with Interpol after Anjarwalla escaped last Friday. Binance said it was aware that Anjarwalla was no longer in Nigerian custody and was working with authorities to resolve the issue. On Monday, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) filed a case in Abuja accusing Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, of four counts of tax evasion: non-payment of Value-Added Tax (VAT), company income tax, failure to file tax returns and complicity in helping customers evade taxes through its platform.

The average fare paid by commuters for journeys within the city increased by 46.98 percent year-on-year. The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, disclosed this in its February’s Transport Fare Watch. Accordingly, the report showed that commuters paid an average of ₦951.76 to journey within the city in February, up from ₦647.54 in February 2022. However, the report said the transport fare dropped by 1.21 percent month-on-month. In another category, the average fare paid by commuters for intercity bus journeys increased by 75.48 percent on a year-on-year basis to ₦7,002.97 in February 2024 from ₦3,999.70 in February 2023. The average airfare paid by passengers for specified routes for a single journey increased by 18.03 percent, year-on-year. Airfare (single route) rose to ₦88,000.00 in February 2024 compared to ₦74,558.11 in the corresponding month last year.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Ghana has kept its key lending rate to banks at 29 percent. Addressing the media, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, assured that the rate of inflation is under control; and therefore, there is no need for further hikes to address it. “After decelerating sharply in 2023, the pace of disinflation has slowed in the first two months of the year. Although inflation rose slightly in January 2024 and edged down in February, the latest inflation forecast suggests a slightly elevated profile from the possible upward revision in transport fares, the adjustment in utility tariffs, higher ex-pump prices, and some pass-through of exchange rate depreciation,” the Governor said. He added that the committee decided to maintain the rate due to these considerations. 

Senegal’s former Prime Minister Amadou Ba has congratulated rival opposition candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye for winning the presidential election. Results trickling in since polls closed in the first round of the presidential election suggested Faye, 44, may have clinched an outright majority. The trends announced on local media sparked street celebrations by his supporters in the capital Dakar. Ruling coalition candidate Ba, 62, initially called these celebrations premature and said a run-off vote would be needed to determine the winner. But he then called Faye to offer his congratulations, a government spokesman told journalists. Senegal’s outgoing President Macky Sall also congratulated opposition candidate Faye as his successor, hailing “a victory for Senegalese democracy.” Several opposition contenders also conceded defeat to Faye, including Anta Babacar Ngom, the only woman running.