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CBN devalues official rate of Naira to N381/$1

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has devalued the naira by 5.8% to N381 per dollar at the official market on Tuesday, as the apex bank took yet another step towards a uniformed exchange rates.

This was disclosed by data obtained from FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange on Tuesday.

The official rate which had been at N360/$ since March was quoted at N381/$ at market close on FMDQ, with analysts expecting the CBN to reflect the change on its website tomorrow.

It’s the second time the CBN has devalued the official rate this year following the crash in oil receipts, Nigeria’s major foreign exchange earner.

The CBN first devalued the official rate in March when it moved from N306/$, where it had been for over two years, to N360/$.

With the latest move, the CBN has collapsed the official rate with its special market intervention sales (SMIS) rate, bringing the country’s multiple rates to within three.

The SMIS rate was also devalued to N380/$ from N360/$ last Friday.

Unification of the multiple exchange rates is one of the requirements for Nigeria to assess a $2.5 billion World Bank loan and formed part of the promises made to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) before the disbursement of a $3.4 billion facility.

“Oil revenue in naira should get a minor boost,” from the devaluation of the official rate, said Omotola Abimbola, an analyst at Lagos-based Chapel Hill Denham.

What it means: Analysis shows that the move could add N70 billion to the amount made available to the three tiers of government via the monthly federal accounts allocation.

“Now, CBN has to unshackle the I&E window, and maybe we can put this FX liquidity problem behind us,” Abimbola said.

There has been a strong clamour for adopting a more market-friendly approach to managing Nigeria’s FX market and the latest development comes after the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, told some foreign investors that the desire of the central bank “is to achieve exchange rate unification” around the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEX)/ I&E rate.

The I&E rate closed at N386/$ Tuesday.

There are however claims that the I&E rate is being rigged by the CBN as liquidity has long dried up in the market which was created in 2017 by the CBN to meet the dollar needs of investors and exporters.

“There’s no liquidity in the I&E window and that has redirected a lot of demand to the parallel market,” one trader said.

“Transactions of many manufacturers and businesses are now being priced at the parallel market rate,” the person said.

The naira trades much weaker at the parallel market at N460/$.

Emefiele however believes that the parallel market rate is being driven by speculators and illegal dealings and has so far discarded the rate as a measure of the naira’s market value.

#EndSARS

#EndSARS: How it all started

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Nigerian youths embarked on a peaceful protest tagged #EndSARS to demand the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit, as well as, other reforms in the Nigerian Police Force (NPF). What started out as a peaceful demonstration by thousands of youths, degenerated into chaos after the protests were hijacked by hoodlums.

The hijacked protest is now characterized by the heavy presence of security personnel on the streets of Lagos, mob attacks on security personnel, killings, and vandalization of public and private properties.

The Birth of #EndSARS

The #EndSARS movement dates back to 2017, where Nigerian youths used the hashtag to share their experiences on violence and assault perpetrated by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad. However, the movement only revived in early October, after a video emerged of police officers thought to be members of the SARS unit, allegedly killing an unarmed young man.

This prompted Nigerian youths to troop to Twitter, calling on the Federal Government for police reform with the hashtag, #EndSARS, #Endpolicebrutality, and many more. The hashtag trended continuously on Twitter as Nigerian youths aired their pain and experiences online.

We captured the timeline of notable events from the moment it all began to the latest developments.

Sunday, 4th October 2020

The Nigerian Police Force, through the Inspector General of Police, announced the ban of SARS members and other Tactical Squads from carrying out routine patrols and other conventional low-risk duties, stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks, etc with immediate effect.

Wednesday, 7th October 2020

Youths in Lagos State set out for a three-day protest to call for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police Force, as part of the push for reforms in the police system to put an end to the extra-judicial activities of the agency. Youths were seen marching to the Force Headquarters at Ikeja, carrying placards with various inscriptions such as “Protect, not exploit”, “Nigeria police stop killing us,” amongst other printed messages.

Sunday, 11th October 2020

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, via his Twitter handle, disclosed that the operations of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) have been dissolved across all 36 states and the Federal Capital with immediate effect.

Monday, 12th October 2020

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike announced that all forms of protest have been banned in the state, therefore the proposed #EndSARS protest in Port Harcourt for Tuesday 13th October 2020 should not hold. He disclosed this in a social media statement on Monday evening, after the Lagos protests turned violent, as police allegedly attacked protesters in Surulere, Lagos.

Tuesday, 13th October 2020

The Lagos State Government set up a N200 million fund for residents in the states who have been victims of police brutality. This was made known by the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu while addressing protesters in Alausa, Ikeja area of Lagos State. He requested for a list of names of Lagos State residents that have been affected by police brutality.
The Inspector-General of Police announced the set up of a new Police outfit known as Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) to take over from the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). He also ordered all personnel of the disbanded unit to report to the force headquarters in Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.
Despite the ban of protesting activities in Rivers State, residents of Port Harcourt defied the Governor and marched to the Government House while chanting the song “solidarity forever”.

Wednesday, 14th October 2020

The Federal Government declared that no Police Officer of any unit is allowed to look into people’s phones, or look at the type of vehicle they are using, or profiling them to see whether they are yahoo boys or not. The Inspector-General of police also stated that “Justice will be done. An investigation team will be constituted which will include Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), to identify all abuses, and officers that are found culpable will be punished.”

Thursday, 15th October 2020

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) announced that all street demonstrations have been banned after a wave of #EndSARS protests in the city due to police brutality. This came on the back of protesters still actively demonstrating on the streets, despite the Federal Government scrapping the unit.
The Governor of Lagos State disclosed that the State Government has arrested and is currently probing police officers that were involved in brutalizing protesters at the Surulere protest venue.

Friday, 16th October 2020

The Police Service Commission reportedly listed the names of 37 former members of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) for dismissal from service.

Saturday, 17th October 2020

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced through his official Twitter handle, that the trial of the erring police officers who were allegedly involved in the attack on #EndSARS Protesters in Surulere, which led to the death of one of them had started on Friday, October 16, 2020.

Sunday, 18th October 2020

#EndSARS protesters launched a helpline center and an online radio platform named ‘Soro Soke’ to aid the coordination of the protesters nationwide through effective and timely communication.
The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan called for an end to the #EndSARS protests after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila at the State House in Abuja.
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced the terms of reference of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution into abuses by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The #EndSARS protesters reportedly blocked the headquarter of the Central Banks of Nigeria in Abuja so as to prevent activities at the apex bank on Monday.

Monday, 19th October 2020

Lagos State Government inaugurated an 8-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to investigate cases of police brutality in the state. This was disclosed by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who cited Section 5 of Tribunals of Inquiry Law, Laws of Lagos State, 2015 as a legal justification to set up the panel.
Edo State Government announced the imposition of a 24-hour curfew across the state with effect from 4pm. This was due to incidents of vandalism and attacks reportedly carried out by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protests.
Soldiers were deployed to the streets of Abuja and stationed in strategic places to curb the #EndSARS protest that has in some cases gone out of hand as suspected hoodlums were reportedly attacking protesters and pro-SARS groups.

Tuesday, 20th October 2020

At around 11 pm, GT Bank’s branch on Admiralty Way, Lekki, Lagos state was allegedly set ablaze in the middle of the night by hoodlums disguised as #EndSARS protesters. This was disclosed by eyewitnesses around the affected branch, through their respective Twitter accounts.
At about 10 pm, the Lagos State Government ordered an investigation into the Lekki Toll Plaza shooting that was allegedly done by men of the Nigerian Army on Tuesday evening. This was disclosed in a statement issued by the state’s

Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, via his Twitter handle.
At 7:08 pm, Lagos State Government issued a directive to extend the enforcement of its 24hour curfew from 4 pm today to 9 pm, to enable residents stuck in traffic get to their destinations. This was disclosed by the State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday evening via the state’s official Twitter handle.

At about 7 pm, several social media accounts revealed peaceful protesters were allegedly being shot at by the Nigerian military at the Lekki toll gate holdout.

Suspected miscreants and arsonists burnt down the Dutse Makaranta police station in the Kubwa area of Abuja. This is after the clash between policemen and #EndSARS protesters in the area where a protester, Anthony Onome, was stabbed on Saturday and a stray bullet hit and killed another protester, who died on the spot.

At 11:49 am, the Lagos State Government announced the imposition of a 24-hour curfew in all parts of the state, with effect from 4 pm Tuesday, October 20, 2020. This was due to the hijacked #EndSARS protests in the state, where hoodlums attacked citizens and destroyed properties.

At about 4 pm, the IG of Nigerian Police Force, M.A Adamu, ordered the immediate nationwide deployment of anti-riot police unit, Police Mobile Force (PMF), over attacks on police facilities by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protests.

About noon, a police station in the Orile-Iganmu area of Lagos State was set on fire by suspected thugs. Eyewitnesses who shared videos via their Twitter accounts said the reprisal attacks were allegedly fueled by the shooting of one person in that area by policemen.
The United States embassy and consulate in Nigeria, announced the shutting down of its consulate in Lagos State for two days with effect from Tuesday, October 20, 2020, due to the hijacked #EndSARS protests.

Wednesday, 21st October 2020

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu ordered the withdrawal of all Police Officers attached to Very Important Persons (VIPs) across the country, with the exemption of those in Government houses, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Lagos State Government suspended all government activities and declared lockdown for 72 hours in view of growing violence in the state. The Governor had earlier visited the injured protesters at the hospitals where they received treatment and also stated via a broadcast that there was no record of fatality in the controversial Lekki Toll Plaza shooting on Tuesday.
The United Kingdom High Commission in Nigeria announced the shutdown of its VISA application centers in Nigeria for the next 48 hours, with immediate effect, due to the ongoing #EndSARS protests in the country.
Television Continental (TVC) station in the Ikosi-Ketu area of Lagos state has been allegedly burnt down by hoodlums who attacked the building. This was disclosed by some residents, who sent videos on social media.
The headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority in Marina, Lagos was also reportedly set on fire by hoodlums involved in the #EndSARS protests.
Around 1 am, The Nigerian Army took to their official Twitter handle and denied deploying soldiers to attack #EndSARS protesters who defied the imposed curfew and peacefully assembled at the Lekki Toll Plaza.

Thursday, 22nd October 2020

In an interview session with Arise TV, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that the curfew initially imposed for 72 hours could be lifted partially within 24 hours, to allow Lagosians re-stock on food and critical household items.
The Governor also responded to the question on who ordered the removal of the CCTV at the toll gate and the switching off of the light.  “Nobody ordered, they were the security of LCC on the ground. I called the security of LCC that night and because of the curfew they took off the installation. That camera that you saw is not a security camera it is a laser camera that picks your number plate… The security camera is still available. The Managing Director of LCC does not have a reporting line to me.”
Sanwo -Olu said he is yet to speak with the President, following the Lekki shootings that occurred on Tuesday evening

Friday, 23rd October 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari has pointed out that the promptness with which the Federal Government acted in meeting the demands of the #EndSARS protesters seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu says the Lagos State government is working towards stabilizing things across the state and rebuilding through verification of victims and has called on youth leaders to provide representatives for a judicial panel.
US Senate leader, Elizabeth Warren called for the United States to stand with the Nigerian people over the #EndSARS protests to demand justice and equality for the victims.
President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over a National Security Council meeting with some former heads of state and some security chiefs.

Insurance firms in Nigeria will be bracing up for potential claims, following the widespread looting and destruction of properties, vehicles, and other assets across the state.It is expected that when things return to normal, businesses will start to take stock of their losses and someone will have to bear the cost.

The Lagos State Government has released a schedule of some cases to be heard in the criminal prosecution of police officers for offenses related to violation of human rights in the state.

Feminist Coalition, a not-for-profit organization and one of the leading supporters of the #EndSARS campaign, has informed all financial supporters of the campaign to stop sending funds to the group, while also revealing plans for the remaining donated funds.

Instagram apologizes for its algorithm malfunction that leads to the dismay of its users.The social networking service apologizes, saying that its algorithm incorrectly flagged the posts, “Yesterday our systems were incorrectly flagging content in support of #EndSARS and marking posts as false. We are deeply sorry for this. The issue has now been resolved, and we apologize for letting our community down in such a time of need,”

The Lagos State Government has eased the 24-hour curfew which was earlier imposed on Tuesday, October 2020, to now run from 6 pm to 8 am.

Coca-Cola Nigeria says it has made a donation of N20 Million to cover the medical costs of victims of the #EndSARS protests in hospitals.

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#EndSARS

#EndSARS: How it all unfolded

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Nigerian youths embarked on a peaceful protest tagged #EndSARS to demand the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit, as well as, other reforms in the Nigerian Police Force (NPF). What started out as a peaceful demonstration by thousands of youths, degenerated into chaos after the protests were hijacked by hoodlums.

The hijacked protest is now characterized by the heavy presence of security personnel on the streets of Lagos, mob attacks on security personnel, killings, and vandalization of public and private properties.

The Birth of #EndSARS

The #EndSARS movement dates back to 2017, where Nigerian youths used the hashtag to share their experiences on violence and assault perpetrated by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad. However, the movement only revived in early October, after a video emerged of police officers thought to be members of the SARS unit, allegedly killing an unarmed young man.

This prompted Nigerian youths to troop to Twitter, calling on the Federal Government for police reform with the hashtag, #EndSARS, #Endpolicebrutality, and many more. The hashtag trended continuously on Twitter as Nigerian youths aired their pain and experiences online.

We captured the timeline of notable events from the moment it all began to the latest developments.

Sunday, 4th October 2020

The Nigerian Police Force, through the Inspector General of Police, announced the ban of SARS members and other Tactical Squads from carrying out routine patrols and other conventional low-risk duties, stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks, etc with immediate effect.

Wednesday, 7th October 2020

Youths in Lagos State set out for a three-day protest to call for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police Force, as part of the push for reforms in the police system to put an end to the extra-judicial activities of the agency. Youths were seen marching to the Force Headquarters at Ikeja, carrying placards with various inscriptions such as “Protect, not exploit”, “Nigeria police stop killing us,” amongst other printed messages.

Sunday, 11th October 2020

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, via his Twitter handle, disclosed that the operations of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) have been dissolved across all 36 states and the Federal Capital with immediate effect.

Monday, 12th October 2020

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike announced that all forms of protest have been banned in the state, therefore the proposed #EndSARS protest in Port Harcourt for Tuesday 13th October 2020 should not hold. He disclosed this in a social media statement on Monday evening, after the Lagos protests turned violent, as police allegedly attacked protesters in Surulere, Lagos.

Tuesday, 13th October 2020

The Lagos State Government set up a N200 million fund for residents in the states who have been victims of police brutality. This was made known by the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu while addressing protesters in Alausa, Ikeja area of Lagos State. He requested for a list of names of Lagos State residents that have been affected by police brutality.
The Inspector-General of Police announced the set up of a new Police outfit known as Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) to take over from the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). He also ordered all personnel of the disbanded unit to report to the force headquarters in Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.
Despite the ban of protesting activities in Rivers State, residents of Port Harcourt defied the Governor and marched to the Government House while chanting the song “solidarity forever”.

Wednesday, 14th October 2020

The Federal Government declared that no Police Officer of any unit is allowed to look into people’s phones, or look at the type of vehicle they are using, or profiling them to see whether they are yahoo boys or not. The Inspector-General of police also stated that “Justice will be done. An investigation team will be constituted which will include Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), to identify all abuses, and officers that are found culpable will be punished.”

Thursday, 15th October 2020

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) announced that all street demonstrations have been banned after a wave of #EndSARS protests in the city due to police brutality. This came on the back of protesters still actively demonstrating on the streets, despite the Federal Government scrapping the unit.
The Governor of Lagos State disclosed that the State Government has arrested and is currently probing police officers that were involved in brutalizing protesters at the Surulere protest venue.

Friday, 16th October 2020

The Police Service Commission reportedly listed the names of 37 former members of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) for dismissal from service.

Saturday, 17th October 2020

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced through his official Twitter handle, that the trial of the erring police officers who were allegedly involved in the attack on #EndSARS Protesters in Surulere, which led to the death of one of them had started on Friday, October 16, 2020.

Sunday, 18th October 2020

#EndSARS protesters launched a helpline center and an online radio platform named ‘Soro Soke’ to aid the coordination of the protesters nationwide through effective and timely communication.
The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan called for an end to the #EndSARS protests after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila at the State House in Abuja.
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced the terms of reference of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution into abuses by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The #EndSARS protesters reportedly blocked the headquarter of the Central Banks of Nigeria in Abuja so as to prevent activities at the apex bank on Monday.

Monday, 19th October 2020

Lagos State Government inaugurated an 8-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to investigate cases of police brutality in the state. This was disclosed by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who cited Section 5 of Tribunals of Inquiry Law, Laws of Lagos State, 2015 as a legal justification to set up the panel.
Edo State Government announced the imposition of a 24-hour curfew across the state with effect from 4pm. This was due to incidents of vandalism and attacks reportedly carried out by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protests.
Soldiers were deployed to the streets of Abuja and stationed in strategic places to curb the #EndSARS protest that has in some cases gone out of hand as suspected hoodlums were reportedly attacking protesters and pro-SARS groups.

Tuesday, 20th October 2020

At around 11 pm, GT Bank’s branch on Admiralty Way, Lekki, Lagos state was allegedly set ablaze in the middle of the night by hoodlums disguised as #EndSARS protesters. This was disclosed by eyewitnesses around the affected branch, through their respective Twitter accounts.
At about 10 pm, the Lagos State Government ordered an investigation into the Lekki Toll Plaza shooting that was allegedly done by men of the Nigerian Army on Tuesday evening. This was disclosed in a statement issued by the state’s

Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, via his Twitter handle.
At 7:08 pm, Lagos State Government issued a directive to extend the enforcement of its 24hour curfew from 4 pm today to 9 pm, to enable residents stuck in traffic get to their destinations. This was disclosed by the State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday evening via the state’s official Twitter handle.

At about 7 pm, several social media accounts revealed peaceful protesters were allegedly being shot at by the Nigerian military at the Lekki toll gate holdout.

Suspected miscreants and arsonists burnt down the Dutse Makaranta police station in the Kubwa area of Abuja. This is after the clash between policemen and #EndSARS protesters in the area where a protester, Anthony Onome, was stabbed on Saturday and a stray bullet hit and killed another protester, who died on the spot.

At 11:49 am, the Lagos State Government announced the imposition of a 24-hour curfew in all parts of the state, with effect from 4 pm Tuesday, October 20, 2020. This was due to the hijacked #EndSARS protests in the state, where hoodlums attacked citizens and destroyed properties.

At about 4 pm, the IG of Nigerian Police Force, M.A Adamu, ordered the immediate nationwide deployment of anti-riot police unit, Police Mobile Force (PMF), over attacks on police facilities by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protests.

About noon, a police station in the Orile-Iganmu area of Lagos State was set on fire by suspected thugs. Eyewitnesses who shared videos via their Twitter accounts said the reprisal attacks were allegedly fueled by the shooting of one person in that area by policemen.
The United States embassy and consulate in Nigeria, announced the shutting down of its consulate in Lagos State for two days with effect from Tuesday, October 20, 2020, due to the hijacked #EndSARS protests.

Wednesday, 21st October 2020

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu ordered the withdrawal of all Police Officers attached to Very Important Persons (VIPs) across the country, with the exemption of those in Government houses, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Lagos State Government suspended all government activities and declared lockdown for 72 hours in view of growing violence in the state. The Governor had earlier visited the injured protesters at the hospitals where they received treatment and also stated via a broadcast that there was no record of fatality in the controversial Lekki Toll Plaza shooting on Tuesday.
The United Kingdom High Commission in Nigeria announced the shutdown of its VISA application centers in Nigeria for the next 48 hours, with immediate effect, due to the ongoing #EndSARS protests in the country.
Television Continental (TVC) station in the Ikosi-Ketu area of Lagos state has been allegedly burnt down by hoodlums who attacked the building. This was disclosed by some residents, who sent videos on social media.
The headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority in Marina, Lagos was also reportedly set on fire by hoodlums involved in the #EndSARS protests.
Around 1 am, The Nigerian Army took to their official Twitter handle and denied deploying soldiers to attack #EndSARS protesters who defied the imposed curfew and peacefully assembled at the Lekki Toll Plaza.

Thursday, 22nd October 2020

In an interview session with Arise TV, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that the curfew initially imposed for 72 hours could be lifted partially within 24 hours, to allow Lagosians re-stock on food and critical household items.
The Governor also responded to the question on who ordered the removal of the CCTV at the toll gate and the switching off of the light.  “Nobody ordered, they were the security of LCC on the ground. I called the security of LCC that night and because of the curfew they took off the installation. That camera that you saw is not a security camera it is a laser camera that picks your number plate… The security camera is still available. The Managing Director of LCC does not have a reporting line to me.”
Sanwo -Olu said he is yet to speak with the President, following the Lekki shootings that occurred on Tuesday evening

Friday, 23rd October 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari has pointed out that the promptness with which the Federal Government acted in meeting the demands of the #EndSARS protesters seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu says the Lagos State government is working towards stabilizing things across the state and rebuilding through verification of victims and has called on youth leaders to provide representatives for a judicial panel.
US Senate leader, Elizabeth Warren called for the United States to stand with the Nigerian people over the #EndSARS protests to demand justice and equality for the victims.
President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over a National Security Council meeting with some former heads of state and some security chiefs.

Insurance firms in Nigeria will be bracing up for potential claims, following the widespread looting and destruction of properties, vehicles, and other assets across the state.It is expected that when things return to normal, businesses will start to take stock of their losses and someone will have to bear the cost.

The Lagos State Government has released a schedule of some cases to be heard in the criminal prosecution of police officers for offenses related to violation of human rights in the state.

Feminist Coalition, a not-for-profit organization and one of the leading supporters of the #EndSARS campaign, has informed all financial supporters of the campaign to stop sending funds to the group, while also revealing plans for the remaining donated funds.

Instagram apologizes for its algorithm malfunction that leads to the dismay of its users.The social networking service apologizes, saying that its algorithm incorrectly flagged the posts, “Yesterday our systems were incorrectly flagging content in support of #EndSARS and marking posts as false. We are deeply sorry for this. The issue has now been resolved, and we apologize for letting our community down in such a time of need,”

The Lagos State Government has eased the 24-hour curfew which was earlier imposed on Tuesday, October 2020, to now run from 6 pm to 8 am.

Coca-Cola Nigeria says it has made a donation of N20 Million to cover the medical costs of victims of the #EndSARS protests in hospitals.

Continue Reading

Business

Where to invest your money in H2 2020

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There are two kinds of people in the world: The ‘glass-half-empty’ kind, and the ‘glass-half-full’ people. Where some see problems, others see the opportunities – same glass, but different perspectives. 2020 might have left very little hope to hang on to, but the world is still in motion.

Amidst the chaos, many have found their diamonds in the rubble – and many more will. These people, however, will be those who are willing to adapt to the changing times by repositioning themselves to leverage the opportunities that arise.

The Covid-19 pandemic has proven to be a holistic challenge, bringing to the fore a myriad of issues. It has caused a dent in the revenue/ disposable income of many businesses and individuals alike, shaken the very balance of the economy with many countries heading for unprecedented recessions, and left everyone with so much uncertainty.

Yet, we are at the cusp of a new dawn. Processes are changing, new industries are emerging, and money is changing hands. Flexibility, automation, and sustainability are just some of the words that will make all the difference in the world of business.

Dr. Ola Orekunrin Brown, the founder of Flying Doctors – a healthcare investment company – had, at a Webinar, offered insights into some of the industries that are expected to succeed given the changing times, and they have been outlined below. But be warned, a lot of them are not your usual kinds of investments.

Investment opportunities to leverage in H2 2020

Online Events

One of the many trends that emerged in recent times, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown in many parts of the world, is a huge dependence on internet technology and digital media. Everybody went indoors – and online. The entertainment sector found its home on social media through Instagram Live parties, Tik Tok, and the Houseparty App.

Companies went online as well, leveraging digital technology like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack. Even the lifestyle industry went online with online gym classes, yoga classes, and even karate classes. Not only have they provided much-needed solutions, they have also come with the additional benefit of convenience.

A good example of this is Eric Yuan, the founder of Zoom, who joined Forbes’ billionaires’ list for the first time as a result of the increased use of Zoom for work meetings. Apptopia, an App tracking firm, reveals that Zoom was downloaded 2.13 million times around the world on 23 March, the day the lockdown was announced in the UK– up from 56,000 a day and two months earlier.

Online education

Another feature of the digital economy lies in the education sector. With schools forcefully closed, classes have had to go online. Online courses, training workshops, and even full degrees will become more normal as those who work from home will see these online education courses as an opportunity to develop themselves with little effort.

Investments here will be even more fostered by access to international markets, thereby increasing the market size.

Research And Markets predicts that the online education market is poised to grow by $247.46 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of 18% during the forecast period.

Institutions that are too big to fail

The stock market is expected to be even more volatile, given the overall unfavourable economic terrain and a high level of uncertainty – especially with all the talks of a recession coming. In H1 2020, the more favourable companies to invest in are those that have stood the test of time – the stocks that are too big to fail.

Many of these stocks have been in existence for decades and have been able to attain a level of stability as a result of their large market share and stable structures. You want financially strong companies and the reason is not far-fetched; the goal is to put your money behind the companies that are strong enough to withstand the storm to a good extent.

Telecommunication

Another by-product of the Covid-19 induced lockdown is the increased need for internet services. Dr. Ola explains that the use of the internet as well as the move to work-from-home, are some of the megatrends of the times.

Good internet connectivity has proven to be the lifeblood that keeps digital entertainment trends, digital work trends, digital lifestyle trends, digital entertainment trends, and a huge chunk of the communication we have today. As a result of this, companies in the telecommunication industry have begun experiencing growth in revenue and earnings. Investments in this sector will most probably be worth your while.

Distribution & E-commerce

When the Okada ban took place, several motorcycle companies that were affected were forced to pivot from transporting people to moving items as full-scale delivery businesses. While many might have thought that a bad idea, the lockdown has undoubtedly contributed to the development of this industry.

The e-commerce industry is also expected to thrive with trade moving predominantly to the internet. Investments in distribution companies and e-commerce businesses are also expected to be worth your while.

Stronger currencies

One of the major hits of the pandemic is the Nigerian foreign exchange market which has now become highly volatile. The demand for the dollar far outweighs the available supply and this has forced importers and speculators alike to scramble for what is available in circulation.

Given the challenges with the FX market, international spending on foreign denominated expenses like tuition fees or international loans will come at an increased cost. To mitigate foreign exchange loss challenges, investments in USD denominated equities and Eurobond funds will help you withstand the storm. While gains here could have you betting against the Naira, having foreign investments in your investment portfolio will come in handy.

Agriculture

The Agricultural industry is an expected gainer. One of the reasons for this is that local supply chains will expand, given the restrictions on the global supply chain as a result of the lockdown and the border closure. While this will also thrive, Dr. Ola Brown, explains that jobs will only be created in the short term.

This is because fewer hands will be required as productivity, better processes, and mechanization systems increase. An example of this is the new trend of robot herders in the United States. This is even more so as we compete with the rest of the world in production. Needless to say, Agriculture will always exist, given the need for food, as well as the rising global population.

Healthcare

While the Covid-19 pandemic has a direct impact on the healthcare industry, the industry is a complex one. The first reason for this is that, with the healthcare infrastructure deficit in Nigeria, the government will need to invest in it to provide wide access.

With subsidies on healthcare, the free market in terms of investments might not be as lucrative with more people opting for government healthcare. However, given increased investments in the sector and the move to preventive health practices, the industry remains attractive.

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