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UK Services PMI Beats Expectations in August

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  • UK Services PMI Beats Expectations in August

Uk service providers experienced a surge in business activity during the month of August.

According to IHS Markit report, Services Purchasing Managers’ Index climbed from 53.5 in July to 54.3 in August. The second highest level since February 2018 and better than the 53.9 predicted by analysts.

The headline index has been above the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction since August 2016.

Businesses in the sector attributed the surge in business activity to consumer demand and resilient business. The sector was more upbeat than the manufacturing and construction sectors that expanded below expectation during the same month.

Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit said: “Faster service sector growth comes as much needed welcome news after disappointing manufacturing and construction PMI surveys in
August. The survey data indicate that the economy is on course to expand by 0.4% in the third quarter, a relatively robust and resilient rate of expansion that will no doubt draw some sighs of relief at the Bank of England after the rate hike earlier in the month.”

However, despite the rise in prices due to higher salaries and fuel cost, output prices were modest as companies hesitated to pass on costs.

The report also shows business confidence was lower than the average survey, representing the weakest since March as uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiation continued to weigh on operations.

Still, new orders picked up slightly in August but softer than the average trend recorded since the current expansion began in August 2016.

The pound extended its loss against the US dollar to 1.2825 after the report.

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Nigerians Paid $1.26 Billion in Bribes Last Year, Survey Shows

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A recent survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed the extent of bribery in Nigeria with citizens paying an estimated N721 billion or $1.26 billion in cash bribes in 2023.

The report highlights a significant discrepancy between rural and urban areas, with rural residents bearing a higher burden of bribe payments.

According to the NBS report, “The frequency of bribery is, on average, higher in rural areas than in urban areas. In 2023, bribe-payers living in urban areas paid on average 4.5 bribes, while those living in rural areas paid on average 5.8 bribes.”

This extensive bribery, amounting to 0.35% of Nigeria’s GDP, shows the persistent challenge of corruption in Africa’s most populous nation.

Despite various government pledges to combat corruption, public officials continue to demand and receive bribes to perform their duties, affecting the delivery of essential public services.

The survey, conducted between October and November, indicates that the estimated number of bribes exchanged decreased from 117 million in 2019 to 87 million in 2023.

This decline appears to be linked to reduced interactions with public officials, which dropped from 63% of the population in 2019 to 53% in 2023.

Bribery was most prevalent among prosecutors, land registry officers, and customs and immigration officials, with judges and magistrates receiving the largest kick-backs.

Despite anti-corruption promises by successive governments, public officials have developed a reputation for converting public funds for personal use and demanding gratifications for performing their functions.

The NBS report also notes a growing resistance to bribery among Nigerians, with 23% refusing to pay bribes when demanded.

This defiance is partly fueled by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, exacerbated by currency reforms and the partial removal of a gasoline subsidy, which has heightened economic hardship.

The survey participants ranked corruption fourth on their list of priorities, behind economic hardship, insecurity, and unemployment.

Interestingly, bribe payments in the private sector more than doubled in 2023, though public-sector corruption remains dominant in the West African nation.

The data reveals that less than a third of Nigerians believe the government is effective in fighting corruption, a stark decline from more than half in 2019 during former President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.

Buhari, first elected in 2015 on promises to end corruption, left office with the nation still grappling with pervasive bribery and corruption.

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PSG Ready to Splash €200 Million on Napoli Stars Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia

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Victor Osimhen

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has reportedly set its sights on Napoli’s dynamic duo, Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

According to reports emerging from Italy, PSG is prepared to table €200 million bid to secure the services of these coveted talents.

The French giants, having recently seen Kylian Mbappe depart for Real Madrid, are keen to bolster their attacking prowess.

Osimhen, renowned for his blistering pace and clinical finishing, has emerged as a prime target.

The Nigerian striker’s performances have garnered attention from top Premier League clubs like Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea.

However, Napoli’s steadfast insistence on Osimhen’s €130 million release clause has thus far deterred potential suitors.

Kvaratskhelia, the Georgian winger who dazzled alongside Osimhen during Napoli’s triumphant Serie A campaign, has also captured PSG’s attention.

Named Serie A Player of the Year, Kvaratskhelia’s electrifying pace and creativity on the wing have made him a sought-after commodity in European football.

Despite PSG’s substantial bid, Napoli remains resolute in their stance.

The Italian club rebuffed a €110 million offer for Kvaratskhelia earlier in the summer and is unlikely to entertain PSG’s current proposal, even with Osimhen included in the deal.

Sources close to the negotiations suggest that if Osimhen does make a move, Napoli is poised to secure Romelu Lukaku as his replacement.

The Belgian striker, currently with Chelsea, has reportedly agreed to terms with Napoli and expressed his eagerness to reunite with manager Antonio Conte.

Osimhen, meanwhile, harbors ambitions of playing in the Premier League, but PSG’s €200 million bid may force Napoli to reconsider their position.

Nevertheless, the Italian club’s resolve to retain their star players remains firm, leaving the footballing world on edge as the transfer saga unfolds.

PSG’s pursuit of Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia underscores their determination to strengthen their squad ahead of the new season, aiming to reclaim domestic glory and mount a serious challenge in European competitions.

As negotiations continue, all eyes are on Napoli’s response and whether PSG’s record-breaking bid will sway the Serie A club’s resolve.

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Kaizen Academy Nigeria Limited Announces NBA Presidential Chat with In-house Counsel Community

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repatriation

Kaizen Academy Nigeria Limited is pleased to announce a virtual fireside chat featuring the presidential candidates for the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA).

The event, titled “NBA Presidential Chat with In-house Counsel,” will be held on Friday, July 12, 2024, at 2:00 PM.

This special session aims to foster dialogue between the in-house counsel community and the NBA presidential candidates, providing a platform for discussing the future of the legal profession in Nigeria and addressing the unique needs and perspectives of in-house counsels.

Event Details:

  • Date: Friday, July 12, 2024
  • Time: 2:00 PM
  • Registration: Register Here

Agenda:

  • 12:45 PM: Speakers Tune in for Final Technical Preparations
  • 1:00 PM – 1:05 PM: Introduction of Moderators – Titi Adeyemi
  • 1:05 PM – 1:10 PM: Introductions – Moderator/Co-Moderator
  • 1:11 PM – 2:20 PM: Questions to Panelists – Panelists
  • 2:20 PM – 2:25 PM: Questions from Audience – Audience
  • 2:25 PM – 2:30 PM: Vote of Thanks – Adeola Olumeyan

Moderators:

  • Titi Adeyemi, Analyst, Kaizen Academy
  • Yewande Giwa, Head, Governance & Sustainability, Honeywell Group Limited
  • Edem Aye, Company Secretary/Manager, Legal & Compliance, Mixta Africa

Panelists:

  1. Mazi Afam Josiah Osigwe, SAN – Senior Partner, LAW FORTE
  2. Chukwuka Nwabueze Ikwuazom, SAN – Partner, ALN Nigeria (Aluko & Oyebode)
  3. Mr. Tobenna Chigbo Erojikwe – Partner, The Law Crest LLP

The session will be co-moderated by Mrs. Yewande Giwa and Ms. Edem Aye, who will guide the discussion through various topics relevant to the in-house counsel community.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Vision and key goals for the NBA
  • Addressing the needs and voices of in-house counsels
  • Legal reforms and advocacy plans
  • Technological adoption and innovation within the NBA
  • Upholding and strengthening ethical standards
  • Addressing challenges in the legal profession, including regulatory issues and judicial inefficiencies
  • Recognition for exceptional General Counsels
  • NBA’s stance on national matters of interest
  • Career progression for in-house counsels
  • Marginalization of in-house counsels in NBA elections
  • Achievements in previous NBA roles and preparation for the presidency
  • Support for young lawyers in career development

Contact Information:

Kaizen Academy Nigeria Limited is committed to fostering continuous professional development and providing platforms for meaningful dialogue on critical issues facing the legal community. We look forward to an engaging and insightful session and encourage all in-house counsels to participate actively.

About Kaizen Academy Nigeria Limited:

Kaizen Academy Nigeria Limited is dedicated to advancing professional excellence through training and educational initiatives tailored for legal professionals. Our mission is to create opportunities for growth, learning, and impactful discussions that drive the legal profession forward.

For more information about the event and to register, please visit our website or contact us directly.

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