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FG increases tax on cigarette and shisha

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The federal government has increased the tax on tobacco products including shisha and cigarettes from 20 percent to 30 percent.

Olorunnimbe Mamora, minister of state for health, made this known on Tuesday at a media briefing in Abuja in commemoration of the 2022 World No Tobacco Day, themed ‘Tobacco: A Threat To Our Environment’.

He said the tax is aimed at discouraging consumption of tobacco products.

Mamora said the new tax took effect on June 1, 2022.

“This new regime increased the ad-valorem tax rate from 20 percent to 30 percent,” he said.

“In addition to the 30 percent ad-valorem, a specific excise rate has been increased from N58 to N84 per pack of 20 sticks of cigarette, and this will further be increased to N94 per pack in 2023; and then N104 per pack in 2024.

“Also, shisha is now taxed at the rate of N3,000 per litre and N1,000 per kilogramme and this will be increased yearly by N500.12.

“This pro-health tax is an effective public health control measure against behavioural risk factors as it has the capacity to reduce demand and consumption of tobacco products.”

Mamora further said the ministry had commenced screening and issuance of operational licences to qualified major tobacco businesses in the country with the view to profiling and monitoring tobacco industry activities nationwide.

He added that the tobacco industry must ensure that the unit packages of all their tobacco products have the approved text and pictorial/graphic health warning message so that the public, especially tobacco users, are made aware of the harmful effects of tobacco use.

At the event, the minister also launched the Tobacco Control Data Initiative (TCDI) dashboard.

The TCDI dashboard is a virtual system that would allow stakeholders and the public to access relevant and up-to-date data on tobacco control in the country.

He urged Nigerians to avoid tobacco and exposure to second-hand smoke.

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Elon Musk sells $6.9 billion in Tesla stocks ahead legal battle with Twitter

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Elon Musk has sold $6.9 billion shares of Tesla stock ahead of Twitter’s court case, taking advantage of a recent rise in the electric vehicle maker’s stock price.

This is according to a series of SEC regulatory filings seen on Tuesday.

The sale is the first since the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX sold $8.5 billion of stock in April, shortly after agreeing to a $44 billion purchase of Twitter.

He did so to increase his cash reserves as he deals with Twitter’s demands to complete the acquisition.

Musk first embarked on significant stock sales late last year, with a large part of the proceeds from stock option exercises being paid in tax.

At the time, he polled his followers on Twitter about whether they wanted him to sell part of his stock and pay tax, before going on to sell about $16.5billion worth of shares.

In the weeks following the offer for Twitter, worries that Musk would be forced to sell off a sizable portion of his Tesla stake in a declining market hung over the stock price of the electric vehicle manufacturer. These worries were only allayed after he announced that he was dropping the bid in early July.

By July 8, Musk announced on Twitter that the agreement was ending.

He said Twitter understated the number of bots, spam, and phoney accounts on its network and failed to provide him with all the facts he required to proceed with the transaction.


The court is scheduled to hear the lawsuit filed by Twitter against Musk to compel him to complete the transaction in early October. While Twitter has maintained that its regulatory disclosures were complete, Musk has asserted that he can back out of the agreement because the business understated the amount of traffic that originates from bots on its network.

Under the terms of his Twitter offer, Musk is personally responsible for financing up to $33.5billion of the acquisition, with the rest coming from debt, though he has announced commitments from other investors of more than $7billion.


The Twitter agreement provides for a $1billion break-up fee. But it also requires “specific performance”, meaning that Musk must go ahead with the purchase unless he can prove that he was misled or a “material adverse event” has occurred on Twitter.

He could also walk away if the debt needed to close the deal is no longer available.


The tension has heightened ahead of the October court hearing, putting Musk at risk of being obliged to proceed with the deal under its original conditions or to try to settle out of court.

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Naira drops at parallel market despite EFCC’s clampdown

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The naira, on Wednesday, weakened against the dollar at the parallel section of the foreign exchange market.

Bureaux De Change operators (BDCs), popularly known as ‘abokis’, who spoke to newsmen in Lagos, said the local currency depreciated by N15 or 2.3 percent to trade at N680 per dollar at the street market.

Last week, the naira closed at N665 to a dollar at the street market.

The street traders put the buying price of the dollar at N665 and the selling price at N680, leaving a profit margin of N15.

They said scarcity has returned to the FX market.

“Demand is high, and there is no dollar. If you tell a customer to sell a dollar to you for N650, he will tell you that he saw it online for N670 or N675. We also have to make our gain. We are buying and selling to make a profit,” a trader at the Ikeja market told newsmen.

On the official market, the naira appreciated by 0.52 percent to close at N428.75 to a dollar on Tuesday, according to FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, a platform that oversees foreign-exchange trading in Nigeria.

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Whatsapp introduces new privacy features

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Worldwide instant messaging app, Whatsapp has introduced new features as part of security measures to make the app safer and easier for users.

The green app is one of the most used social media used for both personal use and business with approximately two billion downloads.

The founder of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg said, “we’ll keep building new ways to protect your messages and keep them as private and secure as face-to-face conversations.”

The new privacy features added to the latest update include exit group chats without notifying everyone; the power to choose who can see when you’re online for the number of contacts you want; and preventing screenshots from pictures and videos when it is put on view once.

According to Meta, the new features translate to more privacy, more protection and more control by users.

“We believe messaging and calling should always be as private and secure as having face-to-face conversations. Kind of like if two people were talking and no one else was around.

“WhatsApp protects the personal calls and messages of users with default end-to-end encryption, so no one but the intended recipient can hear or see them. But that is just one important part of protecting your privacy,” a statement on the Whatsapp blog partly reads.

“Over the years, we’ve added new layers of privacy protections to give you multiple ways to secure your messages, including disappearing messages that self-destruct, end-to-end encrypted backups when you want to save your chat history, 2-step verification for added security, and the ability to block and report unwanted chats.

“Today, we’re excited to bring several new privacy features that provide even more layers of protection and give you more control over your messages. This is all part of how we work to keep your conversations secure on WhatsApp,” it added.

Leave Groups Silently:

“We love our group chats but some are not forever. We’re making it possible to exit a group privately without making it a big deal to everyone. Now, instead of notifying the full group when you are leaving, only the admins will be notified. This feature will start to roll out to all users this month.”

Choose Who Can See When You’re Online:

“Seeing when friends or family are online helps us feel connected to one another, but we’ve all had times when we wanted to check our WhatsApp privately.

For the moments you want to keep your online presence private, we’re introducing the ability to select who can and can’t see when you’re online. This will start rolling out to all users this month.”

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