As economies reopen globally, there is a constant battle to achieve a balance between surging COVID-19 cases and addressing economic slowdown.
Due to the prevailing uncertainty following COVID-19, Global Data’s 2020 forecast for global economic growth has been revised downward from -0.9% (estimated 6 April) to -3.95% (estimated 3 August).
The signs of a faltering rebound is evident in countries such as the US, which may act as a drag on the European economy. GlobalData expects the global economy to witness a contraction of real GDP by 3.95% in 2020 accompanied with a growth of 5.27% in 2021, which is subject to change in the event of a second wave of COVID-19 spread amid resurgence of cases in major economies.
Shruti Upadhyay, Economic Research Analyst at GlobalData, states: “As businesses have been allowed to reopen and retail sales improved, an uptick was observed in the manufacturing and service sectors in the last three months (May–July) globally. GlobalData noted that manufacturing PMI showed an overall improvement in June for countries such as the US (49.8), Brazil (51.6), India (47.2), Russia (49.4), the UK (50.1), France (52.3) and China (50.9). Historically, when the index surpasses 50, it gestures an end to a manufacturing recession. However, with regional lockdowns gaining traction due to resurgence of cases, business conditions now continue to witness patchy recovery.”
Retail sales in the Eurozone plunged to record lows when confinement measures were put in place, but sales rebounded as economies started reopening in a phased manner. Asymmetric demand led to rise in retail sector activities and a fall in demand for contact-intensive sectors. Countries that are cripplingly reliant on contact-intensive industries are expected to be deeply impacted in short-term. A slow recovery is being noticed in the active jobs and stock market, both in advanced and emerging economies with varying severity of fresh outbreaks and different pace of openings in the economy.
Upadhyay concludes: “The Eurozone’s reopening provides a beacon of light to countries such as the US, India and Brazil which are battling with rising number of cases in the country. However, with draconian lockdown measures lifted to reignite the damaged economies, the number of virus cases crept higher in Spain, France and Germany as these nations grapple between saving the economy and averting fresh outbreaks.”
Once Again The National Grid Collapsed
Nigeria’s electricity transmission system, also known as the National grid, has suffered another system collapse, plunging Lagos, the country’s commercial capital, Kano and other major cities into a blackout.
The collapse, which occurred about 11.00 am on Tuesday, was confirmed by two of the country’s electricity distribution companies in separate messages to their customers.
“We regret to inform you that the power outage being experienced across our franchise – Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states – is as a result of the collapse of the national grid,” Kaduna Electric said on Twitter.
Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc, in a text message to its customers, said: “Dear customer, there is a partial system collapse on the national grid. Our TCN partners are working to restore supply immediately. Please bear with us.”
The grid, which is being managed by the government-owned Transmission Company of Nigeria, has continued to suffer system collapse over the years amid a lack of spinning reserve that is meant to forestall such occurrences.
Spinning reserve is the generation capacity that is online but unloaded and that can respond within 10 minutes to compensate for generation or transmission outages.
FG Consider Diversification To Generate Revenue
As revenue from oil nosedives following incessant global price fluctuations, the Federal Government is now channeling efforts to the development of minerals in the mines and steel industry to shore up foreign exchange earnings.
Officials of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development said on Wednesday that while there had been concerted efforts to develop various minerals in the sector, much emphasis had been placed recently on the development of bitumen, barite and gold.
They told our correspondent in Abuja that the government through the mines and steel ministry was striving to diversify the Nigerian economy away from oil as the major foreign exchange earner for Nigeria.
They also confirmed that large quantities of gold had been discovered in various locations in Zamfara and Osun states.
Asked if the government had initiated programmes to explore the minerals and boost revenues now that the country’s income had plunged, the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Ayodeji Adeyemi, replied in the affirmative.
He said, “Indeed, the ministry has the mandate to generate revenue and diversify the economy through the mines sector.
“And bitumen is one of the key resources which the nation is abundantly endowed with, that has been identified for strategic development.”
To buttress his position, Adeyemi shared some recent presentations of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, where the minister said his ministry was gathering data on some bitumen fields across the country to attract investors.
“A lot of people are interested in bitumen, which is coming from both local and foreign investors. However, we are still acquiring data in some of the fields,” the minister stated.
On barite, the minister said the mines and steel ministry was working on raising the quality of barite produced in Nigeria to an internationally acceptable standard, as certified by the American Petroleum Institute.
Adegbite said his ministry had contracted a consultant to help raise the standard in the local production of barite to ensure that oil industry players make use of barite produced in Nigeria as against importing the commodity from other countries.
He said, “Barite is a critical weighting material in drilling fluids used in the oil industry. We have a lot of barites but the issue is that it is not produced to API standards. However, we are putting a system in place which would be ready to launch in about July.
“We have got the millers who can produce barite to API standard. Hence we will be able to compete with foreigners and it would save Nigeria a lot of foreign exchange in import substitution.”
On the development of gold, officials at the ministry further stated that the commodity had been aggregated for the production of bullion bars and that this was the first time that such aggregation was happening in Nigeria.
They stated that the gold was sourced from artisanal miners, while the final refining to bullion was done in Turkey.
The sources stated that the ministry had registered two refineries that would now refine to LBMA standard when they come on stream. LBMA is the de facto standard, trusted around the world.
Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority Generates N160.06 Billion in 2020
The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) generated revenue of N160.06 billion in 2020, according to the latest audited financial reports announced by the Managing Director of NSIA Mr. Uche Orji.
The NSIA income came from devaluation gain of N51 billion, and core income of N109 billion compared to N33.07 billion in 2019.
But Orji lamented: “Covid-19 adversely affected logistics around infrastructure projects, especially the toll road projects and the presidential fertiliser initiative.”
Despite the pandemic, the Authority achieved 33 percent growth in Net Assets to N772.75 billion compared to the previous year’s performance of N579.54 billion.
Orji said the NSIA “received additional contribution of $250 million; and provided first stabilisation support to the Federal Government of $150 million withdrawn from Stabilisation Fund last year.”
The same year, the NSIA received $311 million from funds recovered from the late General Abacha from the United States Department of Justice and Island of Jersey for deployment towards the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) projects of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Highway, Lagos Ibadan Expressway and Second Niger Bridge.
In response to COVID-19, Orji said: “NSIA partnered the global Citizen, a not-for profit group, to form the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund. Separately NSIA acquired and distributed oxygen concentrators to the 21-teaching hospital as part of corporate social responsibility; in addition to staffing support to the Presidential taskforce on COVID-19.”
In 2020, the NSIA “invested additional capital into NG Clearing, the first derivative clearing house in Nigeria to maintain NSIA’s shareholding at 16.5 per cent following the company’s rights issue of 2020″ Orji said.
News4 weeks ago
COVID-19: Nirsal Microfinance Bank (NMFB) Loan – Covid19.nmfb.com.ng
Billionaire Watch2 weeks ago
Ethereum Co-Founder Becomes The Youngest Crypto Billionaire As ETH Hits $3K
News4 weeks ago
Covid19.nmfb.com.ng: How to Check Nirsal COVID-19 Loan Status
Crude Oil4 weeks ago
Oil Rises on Drawdown in U.S. Oil Stocks, OPEC Demand Outlook
Cryptocurrency3 weeks ago
Electronics Retailer Newegg now Accepts Dogecoin As Payment
News2 weeks ago
FG Declares Monday, May 3rd Public Holiday To Celebrate Workers Day
Appointments1 week ago
Buhari Suspends Hadiza Bala Usman as MD of NPA, Appoints Koko
Brands3 weeks ago
Netflix Partners Ikorodu Bois on Oscars Film Brand Campaign