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World Bank predicts Nigeria’s impending recession will be worst in 40 years

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A new world bank report seen by FA has painted a very grim picture of the economy today and in the future. According to the World Bank, Nigeria is facing “potentially the most severe downturn in four decades…even if the outbreak is contained”.

The report was included in a webinar presentation “ALIPA Webinar” dated August 27, 2020.

According to the World Bank, the double whammy of the oil price fall, and the COVID-19 pandemic has put Nigeria on the path to economic ruin and may not get out of it quickly if significant policy changes are not made.

The report pointed out that the Oil Price Collapse is Destabilizing the economy and affecting fiscal and external balances, and growth.

It also lamented that the Covid-19 Pandemic is reducing foreign remittances and adding to the households’ loss of income and consumption. It also exclaimed that foreign capital inflows are also expected to decline adding to external payment pressures.

With all these grim predictions it projects a GDP contraction of -3% for 2020 “possibly triggering the worst recession in four decades.”

The National Bureau of Statistics on Monday reported the Nigerian economy contracted by 6.1% in the second quarter of the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the crash in oil prices.

The fallout of an Economic Contraction
Jobs, already scarce from the 2016 recession, will be that much harder to find
many Nigerians are expected to fall into poverty as incomes fall while the population continues to rise

Women and workers in the informal sector are likely to be more affected

The presentation also suggested what Nigeria must do to get out of the woods.

Containing the COVID-19 outbreak and preparing for a more severe outbreak.
Enhancing macroeconomic management to boost investor confidence

Safeguarding and mobilizing revenues
Reprioritizing public spending to protect critical development expenditures

Supporting economic activity and providing relief for poor and vulnerable communities
Key Policy changes for Nigeria proposed

The World Bank also outlined suggestions for Nigeria’s foreign exchange management as well as some of its economic policies

Unify exchange rates into a single window, and increase exchange rate flexibility now, before foreign exchange reserves are further depleted and pressures mount for a much larger and disruptive devaluation that would hurt the poor

Ease foreign exchange restrictions to limit inflationary pressures and increase supply of food and key staples (e.g., health-related products).

Refocus management of monetary policy toward the primary objective of price stability

Phase-out land border closures to limit inflation and direct private sector development to more competitive ends
Continue making management of public debt more transparent

Review prudential requirements related to bank sales of non-performing loans to AMCON and similar companies to transparently streamline the process for efficient resolution of non-performing loans

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Nigeria signs MoU with Niger Republic on petroleum products transportation, storage

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The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Niger Republic on the transportation and storage of petroleum products.

This was disclosed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources via its Twitter handle on Thursday.

It tweeted, “Nigeria, Niger Republic Sign MoU on Petroleum Products Transportation, Storage. NNPC Pledges to Support SONIDEP on Capacity Building.”

The MoU was signed by the GMD NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari and the Director General of SONIDEP, Mr. Alio Toune under the supervision of the two countries’ Ministers of State for Petroleum, Çhief Timipre Sylva and Mr. Foumakoye Gado, respectively with the Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim in attendance.

Sylva explained that the development is another huge step in developing trade relations between both countries.

He said, “This is a major step forward. Niger Republic has some excess products which needs to be evacuated. Nigeria has the market for these products. Therefore, this is going to be a win-win relation for both countries.”

What you should know

Following bilateral agreements between Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and President Mahamadou Issoufou, talks have been on-going between two countries for over four months – through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Niger Republic’s National Oil Company, Societe Nigerienne De Petrole (SONIDEP), on petroleum products transportation and storage.

Niger Republic’s Soraz Refinery in Zinder, some 260km from the Nigerian border, has an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day. Niger’s total domestic requirement is about 5,000bpd, thus leaving a huge surplus of about 15,000 bpd, mostly for export.

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House of Reps to support full aviation reform

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The House of Representatives has promised to support total reforms in the aviation industry through legislation, as it appeals for active participation of stakeholders in public hearings.

This was disclosed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, via his Twitter handle on Tuesday.

According to him, the House has identified that the aviation industry is a key contributor to the growth of the country’s economy and through legislation it would do all it can to develop the industry.

During the opening of a 3-day public hearing session on six aviation-sector bills by the Committee on Aviation, he explained that the draft legislation would make the sector more effective and efficient.

He said, “It is imperative to note that the development of our aviation industry is an added advantage to the growth of our economy. It is in this vein that the House of Representatives will continue to support total rehabilitation and upgrading of our airports and allied services.

“The consideration of these Bills during this Public Hearing is a testament to our commitment to give new life to the aviation sector and make our airports to be a better non-oil revenue-generating sector as is witnessed in other advanced economies.”

The Speaker appealed to the public and interested parties to honour invitations to House committee public hearings so that they can share ideas on how to make critical sectors deliver optimally.

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Hoodlums loot Shoprite store in Ilorin, stole iPhone 11 mobile sets, others

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Some suspected hoodlums l allegedly looted the Palms Mall on Fate road, Ilorin, Kwara State capital. The mall hosts stores of Shoprite, and Lifemate Furniture among other stores including Mobile phones retailers.

This was revealed by an eye witness.

He said, “They allegedly stole iPhone 11 mobile sets, other mobile sets brands, Refrigerators, and households items among others.”

According to him, the suspected hoodlums forced their way into the Mall after they have stormed and allegedly looted Kwara Agro Hall, an agro resettlement centre, where they carted away Aluminium roofing sheets, mattresses, bags of cement and bags of flour among others.

Back story: Similarly, similar incidents had occured in Lagos when suspected hoodlums looted at Shoprite Malls across Surulere, Sangotedo.

According to reports, suspected thugs from Orile have invaded the mall and the neighbourhoods.

The alleged looters were seen with a cartload of goods on the streets along Ajah Road.

An eyewitness account also submitted that the hoodlums were looting shops around Bode Thomas and Adeniran Ogunsanya.

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