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The Idiocy of Nigerian Financial Team

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banks

In an economy as vibrant and fragile as Nigeria, financial team is pivotal to how the nation strike a balance between global and national economics, and use that as the basis for formulating both monetary and fiscal policies. This is something Nigeria’s financial team has failed to do since the global oil glut started.

When global oil prices plunged and erased over 70 percent of Nigeria’s foreign revenue. Instead of the central bank to allay national fear by formulating monetary policy to stimulate the economy from within and assure the nation of its readiness to do whatever it takes to ensure things does not deteriorate further like the Bank of England governor Mark Carney did immediately the Britons voted to leave the European Union on June 23, the institution spent the first two months of this administration denying the impact of the shortfall on the economy, only to banned manufacturers of 40-items from accessing forex at official rate on June 23, 2015 as a measure to rescue itself from lack of forex, but end up weakening the manufacturing sector as most manufacturers had to lay off when they couldn’t source for raw materials, leading to high unemployment rate and even higher foreign exchange rates.

Subsequently, this created unnecessary fear and alerted foreign investors to the level of their technical know-how, hence the capital flights that follows and the persistent pressure from both the International Monetary Fund and analysts to devalue the Naira so as to accommodate the difference created by a drop in global oil prices. Again, the federal government, central bank, ministry of finance and monetary policy committee (financial team) refuted all plead to devalue the Nigerian Naira and instead increased interest rates by 100 basis points to 12 percent to boost capital importation, ease the liquidity issue unfolding at the interbank market as at the time and reduce capital flight simultaneously. Not only does this monetary policy fail, but it further exposed their lack of experience in managing financial crisis.

However, one would think the Nigerian Monetary Policy Committee that had voted severally on rates since then would thought it necessary to lower interest rates and allow real investors access to cheaper loans to create jobs needed to attack high unemployment rate, increase consumer spending and fight economic gridlock, while the CBN concentrate on how to increase forex into the country by going after institutions like PayPal Inc., that bar Nigerians from withdrawing funds yet declared Nigeria as the third highest mobile shopper in the world. But no, the Monetary Policy Committee led by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Godwin Emefiele left rates unchanged.

Again, on June 20 when the institution exhausted its external reserves and was forced to introduce forex flexibility policy, the institution failed to take into consideration global economics “the U.K. and the European Union referendum of June 23”. Even though, Nigeria is a petrol-dollar economy and grossly depend on the outcome of the referendum like every crude oil dependent economies, the CBN neglected the obvious and roll out forex policy three days to the referendum to attract global investors that were perturbed by the high global uncertainty created by the referendum, and in fact forced the “BIG” US Federal Reserve to rescind on its rate decision pending the outcome of the vote.

As expected that too failed, with nothing left in its arsenal to attack the situation, the CBN resolved to a more radical move by increasing interest rates by 200 basis points to 14 percent in an economy with pervasive layoff, low consumer spending and weak manufacturing sector — all in an effort to lure same global investors that have refused to invest in Naira’s risky assets, especially when global risks and uncertainty heightened by Brexit jumped to the level last seen in 2009. This was even made worse in Nigeria with the recurrent militant attacks that has reduced oil production by more than 600,000 barrels per day, high unemployment rate (13.3%), high inflation rate (17.1) and negative economic growth rate (-2.06).

The question is why chasing foreign investors? Why not stimulate the economy domestically by lowering interest rates and ensure commercial banks pass the difference to customers, then go after corporations like PayPal Inc., to complement the 11 newly licensed international money transfer operators? Here is the logic, if the lack of liquidity in the forex market is as a result of low business confidence and high uncertainty associated with Naira assets, why not restore business confidence by addressing the nation and the world on the situation of things and the steps the central bank planned to take to resolve these issues going forward? This does not merely work for the U.K after Brexit but it has restored the economy to almost normalcy barely two months after the referendum. Both global and local investors need a clear cut policy to make informed investment decisions. The CBN will not lure investors without a blueprint. If this is done, it will not only boost business confidence but also help lower high foreign exchange rates and revamp the manufacturing sector.

 

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

UK Government Has Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

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The United Kingdom on Wednesday Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

British government on Wednesday became the first country to approve Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use, according to the UK government.

The vaccine will be rolled out from next week and the first dose could be administered as early as December 7th, stated people familiar with the matter.

Last week, the UK government announced it had ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 and appointed Nadhim Zahawi, the current junior business minister, as the minister responsible for the deployment of the vaccines.

British government on Wednesday morning said, “The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use” 

“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”

Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, revealed that the programme would commence early next week.

“It is very good news,” Hancock said.

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Zabarmari Massacre: Buhari to Provide More Resources for the Nigerian Military

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to provide more resources to the military in the aftermath of the Zabarmari massacre.

On Saturday, Boko Haram killed 43 people with around 70 people still missing in Zabarmari, a village in Borno State.

Reacting to the massacre, Buhari, through his official Twitter handle @MBuhari said “Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians. Everything is secondary when security is at stake. I will ensure that more resources are made available to the military and other security agencies to prosecute the war against terrorism.

“As we mourn all the lives lost in Zabarmari, the Armed Forces have been given the marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis, until we root out the terrorists.

“We will intensify our cooperation with neighbouring countries on bilateral and multilateral levels, to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists.

“As I noted earlier, the massacre by Boko Haram in Zabarmari is nothing short of senseless, barbaric, gruesome and cowardly. It reinforces our resolve to root out all forms of insurgency and insecurity not just in Borno but everywhere across Nigeria.”

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Boko Haram Kills Rice Farmers in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria

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Rice farmers were killed on Saturday morning in the Northeast Nigeria by suspected Islamist militants, Boko Haram, according to a Reuters Report.

The report also noted that 30 of the people killed were beheaded while over a dozen others were still missing.

However, resident of the Zambarmari Village where the attacks took place said a total of 70 people were feared dead.

Another resident and Amnesty International were quoted as saying at least 10 women were among those missing.

In another statement by Edward Kallon, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, it was armed men on motorcycles that led the brutal attack on civilians harvesting their fields.

Armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields,” Edward Kallon stated.

“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” he added, noting that several women are believed to have been kidnapped.

“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” Kallon said.

On Sunday, Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum of Borno State, who was at the burial told journalists that at least 70 farmers were killed on Saturday.

The Governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to recruit more Civilian Joint Task Force members, Soldiers and civil defence fighters to protect farmers in the region.

He added that people are facing desperate choices.

In one side, they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,” he said.

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