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Steel Manufacturers Threaten to Sack 20,000 Workers

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  • Steel Manufacturers Threaten to Sack 20,000 Workers

The Galvanised Iron and Steel Manufacturers’ Association has threatened to sack 20,000 workers if the Standards Organisation of Nigeria and other government agencies fail to curb the importation of substandard galvanised roofing sheets into the country.

In a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday, GISMA said if the challenges confronting steel manufacturing in the country were not addressed in 30 days, its members might be forced to offload about 20, 000 workers into the labour market.

Spokesman for GISMA, Mr Lateef Bello, in the statement, urged SON to tighten the noose on importers of substandard galvanised roofing sheets in compliance with the Industrial Roadmap Revolution of the government.

Bello noted that despite the presence of state coordinators nationwide, it was saddening that the country’s nooks and crannies were being flooded with substandard roofing sheet products.

He said, “We are aware that the Standard Organisation of Nigeria held a press conference last week and unveiled its successful seizure of substandard aluminium sheets worth over N200m from various aluminium companies in Uyo.

“SON in its address further confirmed that the minimum thickness of aluminium roofing sheets is 0.4mm. The substandard products with the quality of 0.25mm were, however, imported into Nigeria at the detriment of unsuspecting members of the public.”

Bello added, “While we commend SON for the efforts made in the seizure of the goods, we are categorically requesting that names of perpetrators of such unpatriotic acts should be made public in order to reflect transparency and accountability.

“It is our expectation that SON should censor some of its officials suspected to be collaborating with smugglers of substandard products by mounting surveillance and detective operational techniques across its branches nationwide.

“Importation of substandard products is tantamount to waging war against the Federal Government’s policies of discouraging the supply of illicit items capable of causing havoc and short-changing the citizenry.”

The GISMA spokesman added that sparing anyone involved in the importation of substandard products amounted to aiding and abetting corruption and exposing the nation to poor infrastructure.

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.

Economy

COVID-19 Vaccine: Crude Oil Extends Gain to $48 Per Barrel on Wednesday

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Oil prices rose further on Wednesday as hope for an effective COVID-19 vaccine and the news that the United States of America’s President-elect, Joe Biden has begun transition to the White House bolstered crude oil demand.

Brent crude oil, a Nigerian type of oil, gained 1.63 percent or 78 cents to $48.64 per barrel at 11:50 am Nigerian time on Wednesday.

The United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose by 1.36 percent or 61 cents to $45.52 per barrel.

OPEC Basket surged the most in terms of gain, adding 3.16 percent or $1.37 to $44.75 per barrel.

This was after AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech announced the positive results of their trials.

Moderna and Pfizer had claimed over 90 percent effective rate in trials while AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 70 percent effective in trials but could hit 90 percent going forward.

The possibility of having a vaccine next year increases the odds that we’re going to see demand return in the new year,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Also, the decision of President-elect Joe Biden to bring Janet Yellen, the former Chair of Federal Reserve, back as a Treasury Secretary of the United States is fueling demand and strong confidence across global financial markets.

President-elect Biden’s cabinet choices, particularly Janet Yellen’s Treasury Secretary position, are adding to upside momentum across a broad space of asset classes,” said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates.

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Seyi Makinde Proposes N266.6 Billion Budget for Oyo State in 2021

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The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has presented the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly on Monday.

The proposed budget titled “Budget of Continued Consolidation” was said to be prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of Oyo state.

Governor Makinde disclosed this via his official Twitter handle @seyiamakinde.

According to the governor, the proposed recurrent expenditure stood at N136,262,990,009.41 while the proposed capital expenditure was N130,381,283,295.63. Bringing the total proposed budget to N266,6444,273,305.04.

The administration aimed to implement at least 70 percent of the proposed budget if approved.

He said “The total budgeted sum is ₦266,644,273,305.04. The Recurrent Expenditure is ₦136,262,990,009.41 while the Capital Expenditure is ₦130,381,283,295.63. We are again, aiming for at least 70% implementation of the budget.”

He added that “It was my honour to present the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly, today. This Budget of Continued Consolidation was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of our state.”

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World Bank Expects Nigeria’s Per Capita Income to Dip to 40 Years Low in 2020

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The World Bank has raised concern about Nigeria’s rising debt service cost, saying it could incapacitate the nation from necessary infrastructure development and growth.

The multilateral financial institution said the nation’s per capita income could plunge to 40 years low in 2020.

According to Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director for World Bank in Nigeria, the decline in global oil prices had impacted government finances, remittances from the diaspora and the balance of payments.

Chaudhuri, who spoke during the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Government, said while the nation’s debt is between 20 to 30 percent, rising debt service remains the bane of its numerous financial issues and growth.

Nigeria’s problem is that the debt service takes a big part of the government revenue,” he said.

He said, “Crisis like this is often what it takes to bring a nation together to have that consensus within the political, business, government, military, civil society to say, ‘We have to do something that departs from business as usual.’

“And for Nigeria, this is a critical juncture. With the contraction in GDP that could happen this year, Nigeria’s per capita income could be around what it was in 1980 – four decades ago.”

Nigeria’s per capita income stood at $847.40 in 1980, according to data from the World Bank. It rose to $3,222.69 in 2014 before falling to $2,229.9 in 2019.

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