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Textile Union Lauds CBN’s Ban on Sale of Forex

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  • Textile Union Lauds CBN’s Ban on Sale of Forex

The General Secretary, National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, Mr Issa Aremu, has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria for banning the sale of foreign exchange to textile importers.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the CBN had on March 5, banned the sale of forex to importers of textiles into the country at a meeting with stakeholders in the cotton, textile, and garment value chain in Abuja.

The CBN listed all forms of textile materials among items prohibited from foreign exchange in its official windows.

It promised a financial intervention to textile manufacturers with the provision of funds at single digits rate to refit, retool and upgrade their factories to enable them to produce high-quality textile materials for the local and export market.

Aremu, who is also a National Executive Council member of Nigeria Labour Congress, gave the commendation on Thursday in Abuja.

He observed that more than ever, the CBN had commendably financed development in Nigeria under the leadership of Mr Godwin Emefiele, citing the anchor rice borrowers’ scheme that had improved rice sufficiency in the country.

He said smuggling and wholesale importation of textiles contributed to the closure of many textile industries in the past.

Aremu, however, described smuggling as an economic terrorism, adding that the new initiative of the CBN would boost local production, create jobs and lessen the pressure on forex if fully implemented.

The labour leader commended the creativity of the CBN on the dollar restrictions on goods Nigeria could produce at home including textiles.

According to Aremu, the CBN governor said the decision was critical toward reviving the moribund sector and creating jobs for Nigerians.

Emefiele disclosed that the country was spending over $4bn annually on imported textiles and ready-made clothing, which he said was unacceptable.

He said the CBN would craft adequate measures to deal with the menace of smuggling, which had often threatened efforts toward self-sufficiency.

Aremu warned all forex dealers in the country to desist from granting any importer of textile material access to foreign currency in the Nigerian foreign exchange market.

He recalled that in the 1970s and early 1980s, Nigeria was home to Africa’s largest textile industry with over 180 textile mills in operations, which employed close to over 450,000 people.

The labour leader said the industry was supported in the production of cotton by 600,000 local farmers across 30 of Nigeria’s 36 states, among others.

He said that in recent times, many of the textile employers had to lay off employees, while most of the factories mentioned had all stopped operations.

“This has left only 25 textile factories in operation presently and operating below 20 per cent of their production capacities with total workforce of less than 20,000 people,” he said.

Aremu commended the CBN for all the creative measures to stimulate domestic production, which would put a stop to factory closures and create new jobs.

He said that as a developing economy, Nigeria needed creative monetary policies and development financing that could boost industrialisation.

He called on the Federal Government to complement the development financing of the CBN through fiscal, industrial and labour market policies to re-invent the Nigerian economy and ensure sustainable decent jobs for the youths.

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.

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Merger and Acquisition

United Kingdom Ordered Meta, Formerly Facebook, to Sell Giphy

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The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has instructed Meta – formerly known as Facebook – to sell Giphy, the American search engine that allows users search for and share short looping videos which are without sound, that are similar to animated GIF files.

The CMA stated that the merger deal could possibly be harmful to social media users and advertisers in the UK. It also found that the deal would further boost Meta’s already strong market power, as it would limit other platforms’ ability to use Giphy GIFs, which will, in turn, drive more traffic to sites owned by Facebook (WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook).

According to the CMA, Meta’s sites dominated social media usage time up to around 73 percent, and could eventually outperform social media rivals like TikTok, Twitter and Snapchat by leveraging Giphy. The Authority then added that before the merger, Giphy had launched ”innovative advertising services” which brands like Dunkin’ Donuts and Pepsi which it could possibly have brought to the United Kingdom.

The CMA also stated that at the time the merger was made, Giphy’s advertising services were terminated by Facebook. That move removed a vital part of potential opposition in the market. The CMA was concerned by this move, calling it particularly concerning considering that Facebook is in control of about half of the £7 billion display advertising market in the UK.

Facebook had acquired Giphy for a reported fee of $400 million, with an aim of integrating the service into Instagram. After a month, the CMA started an investigation into the merger and decided in August that Facebook could hinder social media rivals such as TikTok and Snapchat from tapping into Giphy’s GIFs.

Meta had initially stated that the CMA did not have jurisdiction because Giphy was not operational in the United Kingdom, adding later that Giphy’s paid services were not display advertising by the definition of the CMA.

In October, Meta was fined $70 million by the CMA for breaking some rules related to the deal by failing to report necessary information and changing its chief compliance officer on two different occasions without receiving permission.

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Brands

Burger King Expands to Nigeria

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Burger King

Burger King, an American multinational chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, has opened its very first restaurant in Nigeria to deepen its growing brand, support new job creation and enhance economic productivity in Africa’s largest economy.

The United States Mission in Nigeria has praised the improving commercial ties between Nigeria and the United States as American franchises and branches set up shops in Nigeria. This has in turn created more jobs as well as investment opportunities in the country.

This was said by the US Mission Commercial Counselor, Jennifer Woods during her speech at the opening of the Burger King outlet in Nigeria. Woods underlined the impact which new businesses have on a country’s economy, especially with a popular franchise like Burger King opening in a developing market like Nigeria.

She said that being Africa’s largest economy and a large youth population with a strong connection to the world, American brands must look at Nigeria as a highly critical market. She went ahead to state that while the companies will benefit from the expansion into the country, Nigeria itself will also benefit largely from their presence in the country.

Woods also described the addition of another American-owned franchise (one that emphasizes a culture of excellence) will help to provide job opportunities as the business expands to new parts across the country. She praised the high level of interest by consumers and the passion which they have for the iconic American rapid service restaurant since it began its operations in early November.

The Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila congratulated Burger King and all its local partners on the intriguing business deal, explaining it as another signal of the benefits of a close business relationship between the United States and Nigeria. He also stated that Burger King is expected to open hundreds of outlets across the country.

Burger King entered into an alliance with local firm, Allied Food & Confectionary Services Limited in order to bring the American brand into the Nigerian market. The Group Managing Director of Allied Food & Confectionary Services Limited, Antoine Zammarieh has prior experience bringing United States rapid service restaurants to Nigeria.

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Company News

Panasonic Confirms Data Breach after Hacker Attack

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Panasonic Nigeria

Japanese tech giant Panasonic has affirmed that the company has been a victim of a data breach after some hackers were able to access the company’s internal network.

In a press release dated November 26, the company stated that its private network was illicitly accessed by a “third party” on November 11, and also stated that some data which was on a company file server had been retrieved during the breach.

However, a spokesperson for Panasonic, Dannea DeLisser stated that the data breach started on June 22, and ended on November 3. She also said that the very first unauthorized access was detected on November 11.

The company which is based in Osaka, Japan provided additional details about the breach. In the press release, the company said that although it is conducting its own investigation into the breach, it is also working with a third-party organization to investigate the data leak. The third party organization is also looking into whether or not the breach included personal information of customers or sensitive information which concerns social infrastructure.

Immediately the unauthorized access was discovered by the company, the incident was reported to the appropriate authorities who went ahead to set up some security countermeasures, which also contained steps to avert external access to the network. The company closed the statement by apologizing for concerns and inconveniences caused by the data breach.

This type of incident is not completely new to Panasonic, as just under a year ago Panasonic India faced a ransomware attack in which hackers leaked about 4 gigabytes of data, including email addresses and financial details.

The data breach also comes at a period when Japanese technology companies are facing waves of cyberattacks. NEC and Mitsubishi Electric were victims of hackers in 2020, and Olympus was also made to suspend operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East after being a victim of a ransomware attack.

The trend of cyberattacks in Japan is likely to reduce public faith in the company, especially since it has been hacked twice since last year.

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