- COVID-19 Shrinks Chinese Economy by Most in Half a Century
COVID-19 has brought to an end decades of growth in the world’s second-largest economy, according to Chinese officials on Friday.
Chinese economy contracted by 6.8 percent in the first quarter ended March 2020 when compared with a year ago, ending a streak of growth that survived the Tiananmen Square crackdown, the SARS epidemic and even the global financial crisis.
Also, the nation’s industrial production slipped by 1.1 percent in March while retail sales declined by 15.8 percent when compared to the same period of last year. Fixed investment assets plunged 16.1 percent during the first three months of the years as investors held on to their case amidst fast-spreading COVID-19 and rising global uncertainties.
“Given the continuous spread of the epidemic globally, mounting downward pressure on the world economy and growing uncertainties, we are now facing heightened pressures,” said Mao Shengyong, the spokesman of the National Bureau of Statistics, at a news briefing in Beijing on Friday morning.
“China may have seen the Covid-19 outbreak first and local closures slowed the economy, but now China appears to be feeling the brunt of the slowing global economy,” said Jeremy Fand, the chief executive, SpaceKnow Inc.
According to Mr. He of Touchroad, despite Chinese business resuming operations, sales will continue to drag.
“One cause for optimism is that work resumption, and getting back into production, have been going well in China,” he said. But he added, “It’s going to be a big impact for the world economy, and some companies will not make it.”
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Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption
The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiative has allocated N100 billion to expedite the deployment of CNG buses nationwide, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
The initiative, designed to catalyze an Auto-gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in mass transit and transportation, aims to enhance sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
The statement revealed that the fund would be instrumental in supporting the adoption of auto-gas and electric vehicles, signaling a commitment to a more sustainable and economical future in the transportation sector.
The Presidential CNG Initiative plans to leverage over 11,500 CNG and electric-fueled vehicles, along with the deployment of 55,000 conversion kits.
This strategic approach is intended to reduce transportation costs for Nigerians and mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living.
Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Presidential CNG Initiative is dedicated to realizing the President’s vision, guided by its steering committee led by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji.
The statement highlighted recent achievements, including strategic technical partnerships and the ongoing commissioning of CNG Conversion centers in key states such as Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, and Rivers.
Several more centers are slated for commissioning in the coming weeks, reflecting the initiative’s momentum and commitment to achieving its objectives.
Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and power distribution companies, is set to complete 53 power projects by May next year.
Valued at N122 billion, these projects aim to add over 1,000 megawatts to TCN’s wheeling capacity.
During a recent tour of three ongoing projects in Lagos, TCN’s Programme Coordinator, Mathew Ajibade, assured that the projects were not abandoned, refuting speculations.
He confirmed that work is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by May 2024, as initially planned.
Assistant Director/Head of Infrastructure Finance Office at the CBN, Tumba Tijani, highlighted the CBN’s support for the power sector, revealing that the bank released a loan at a 9% interest rate in August last year for the projects.
The funding, part of the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility-3, amounts to N122,289,344 and aims to address transmission/distribution bottlenecks, enhance supply to end-users, and unlock unutilized generation capacity.
Tijani disclosed that N85.43 billion has been disbursed into the Advance Payment Guarantee account of the 53 contractors responsible for executing the projects.
The comprehensive project list includes the delivery of power transformers, re-conductoring existing transmission lines, upgrading existing substations, and constructing 33KV line bays.
The initiative reflects a concerted effort to enhance Nigeria’s power infrastructure and meet growing energy demands.
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