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FG to Raise N1tn for Housing Scheme

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  • FG to Raise N1tn for Housing Scheme

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Federal Government is working with stakeholders to raise N1tn for the provision of affordable houses for Nigerians.

The vice-president spoke at the 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja on Tuesday where he chaired a roundtable discussion on job creation, skills and employment.

He said that the proposed project would help to create more jobs.

Osinbajo said that the job creation unit in his office had worked out a framework with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group to focus on three sectors to create employment.

He listed the three sectors as construction, agriculture and Information Communication Technology.

Under construction, the vice-president said the Federal Government was working on a social housing programme called the Family Home Fund.

“The Family Home Fund is a financial intervention into social housing in the country. We are trying to raise a fund, which will come to about N1tn; we have aggregated funds from the private sector, local and international funds already.”

According to him, the plan is to enable the government to intervene in mortgage financing so that developers can build special houses to the specification of the Federal Government.

“Already eight or nine states are giving land and certificates of occupancy for social housing scheme. The idea is that any Nigerian who can afford N30,000 should be able to own a house,’’ he said.

Osinbajo said that there would emerge job creation opportunities as technicians, engineers and skilled workers would benefit from the scheme.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the problem of housing in Nigeria has been of interest to every administration and official estimates suggest that more than 17 million houses are needed to cover the country’s 180 million citizens.

Each administration had introduced a different scheme but the impact had not been really felt by the people, it added.

Meanwhile, Osinbanjo has said leadership failure is responsible for loss of faith in Nigeria.

He said this in Abuja on Tuesday at the 46th yearly Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, where he represented President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said, “Part of the reasons why things are not working well in Nigeria as they ought to is the inability to hold officials accountable for their tasks. Holding a public official to account for their responsibility going forward is going to be a key way to increase performance.

“Those who handle public or private resources must account for their performance because lack of performance can hold down a country. Courts are a public resource, therefore judges and lawyers like every other public and private officials must be held accountable for their responsibilities. We must be able to hold ourselves accountable for the responsibilities that we are charged with.”

Speaking at the conference, President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Mr. Titus Soetan, said the perception of failure of leadership and the huge deficit in the delivery of public goods to Nigerians had culminated in loss of faith in Nigeria.

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

US Poll: Investors ‘Freaking’ Over Possible Contested Outcome of U.S. Election

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A disputed result in November’s U.S. presidential election is now the number one concern for investors – even ahead of a second wave of Covid-19 – according to a new global survey.

The poll carried out by deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations, asked more than 700 clients ‘What is your biggest investment worry for the rest of 2020?’

A contested U.S. election was the number one (72%); the impact of a Covid-19 second wave (18%) and U.S.-China trade war (5%). The remaining 5% was made up of other geopolitical issues, including Brexit.  

735 people resident in the UK, North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Australasia took part in the poll.

Of the poll’s findings, deVere Group CEO and founder, Nigel Green says: “Investors around the world are beginning to freak about the U.S. presidential election. 

“But not about whether Trump or Biden wins, rather over the looming possibility of a disputed outcome.

“President Trump is already questioning the legitimacy of the election, heightening the chances of a contested result and an ensuing constitutional crisis in the world’s largest economy.

“It’s getting ugly and investors are, rightly, concerned that this will generate massive waves of volatility in the markets, not only in the U.S., but around the world.”

He continues: “Investors are telling us this is their biggest investment worry for the rest of 2020.

“It is likely that any election-triggered volatility will be highly impactful for may be only two or three weeks.

“As always, investors should remain in the market during this time.”

Rational investors, Mr Green believes, should be capitalising on any election turbulence.

 “There are two key reasons why investors should be building up their portfolios in volatile times.

 “First, are long-term benefits. There are many unknowns, but what we do know is that over the longer-term the performance of stock markets is fairly predictable: they go up.

 “Indeed, for this reason, over a longer time horizon, investing in equities is almost universally recognised as one of the best ways people can accumulate wealth.

 “By not topping up and diversifying portfolios in volatile periods, investors are pushing back the longer-term benefits they could be starting to reap.  Why forsake the long-term gains that would be generated on money invested now?”

 “Second, the buying opportunities.  The see-sawing markets are a chance for investors to put new money into markets at lower prices.  A slump in the market means that there are high-quality equities available at more attractive prices.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “A contested outcome of the U.S. presidential election will almost inevitably send the stock markets into a temporary tailspin – and this is weighing on investors’ minds.

“I would argue, they should try and use the volatility to their financial advantage where possible and appropriate.”

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Economy

Inflation, Economic Uncertainties Push Price of Palm Oil up 40% in Enugu

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Price of Palm Oil rose by 40% in Enugu State

The rising cost of goods and services amid economic uncertainties has pushed the price of a key food ingredient in Nigeria, palm oil, up by around 40 percent in Enugu metropolis, according to a recent report by NAN.

The survey revealed that at Ogbete main market, Garki and Mayor markets, a 5 litre key of palm oil now sells for N2,350, up from N1,800 it was sold in August.

Similarly, the price of a 70cl bottle rose from N280 a few weeks ago to N400.

The survey also revealed that a 20-litre jerry-can of palm oil is now selling between N11,000 and N12,500 as against N9,000 and N9,500, depending on its processing pattern and grade.

Palm oil dealers, who spoke newsmen at the various major markets in the metropolis, attributed the increase to an off-season of the palm fruits for the year.

Mrs Oby Ofordile, a palm oil seller at Ogbete Main Market said that “the price of oil as at January was between N250 and N270 per 70cl bottle, while 20-litre went for between N9,000 and N9,500.

Ofordile noted that scarcity of palm oil fruits had led to low productivity, thereby leading to a hike in the price of the commodity.

According to Miss Onyeka Agu, another seller of palm oil at Ogbete Market, a 25-litre jerry-can in major markets in the metropolis goes for between N13,000 and N14,500 while in the villages, where the oil is produced, the price stands at N12,500.

Mrs Lucy Adindu, a palm oil seller at Garki Market, corroborated Ofodile’s views, hinging the price hike on palm fruits being out of season.

“The price of the commodity will come down when next harvest period sets in,” Adindu said.

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Economy

Labour Says Nationwide Strike Will Commence on Monday, Shuns Court Order

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NLC, TUC to Embark on Nationwide Strike on Monday, Shuns Court Order

Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress has dismissed ruling of the National Industrial Court restraining them from embarking on a Nationwide strike on Monday 28, 2020.

The NLC and TUC disclosed this on Thursday after the meeting held with the Government ended in a deadlock.

Labour had engaged the government to reverse the recent increase in petrol price and the hike in electricity tariffs. However, after failing to get labour unions to back down on planned industrial action, a group likely sponsored by the government or one of it agents approached the industrial court in Abuja on Thursday to secure a restrain order against the planned strike.

Peace and Unity Ambassadors Association through their counsel, Sunusi Musa, had filed an ex-parte application to halt the protest.

But, Ayuba Wabba, the NLC President, dismissed court ruling, saying he has not been served and the group did not employ him.

He asked, “How does that (injunction) affect me if I have not been served? Have I been served? Are they our employers? What relationship do I have with any group?”

Quadri Olaleye, the TUC President, stated that the mobilisation of workers for the strike can not be stopped, noting that the government failed to reverse or suspend the fuel price hike and electricity tariff adjustment.

He stated, “We were not the one that adjourned the meeting; the government adjourned it till Monday. Monday is the expiration of the ultimatum and we are still very much focused on that. It is a deadlock now.

“Of course, that (adjournment) will not stop the action that has been put in place. We have told them to reverse or to suspend, while the discussion goes on Monday. So, labour is left with no option but to go our way.

Speaking on offers or concessions made by the government’s team, the union leader said, “We are coming with an open mind to find a solution to the problems in the country, especially on the price hike. They have made their proposal, but we are saying let us suspend or reverse, then we can now continue to discuss but they have adjourned. But labour will continue with the mobilisation of workers.

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