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Lagos-Ibadan Expressway 40% Completed, Says FG

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  • Lagos-Ibadan Expressway 40% Completed, Says FG

The ongoing reconstruction work on section 1 of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway has progressed up to 40 per cent, the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Mr Adedamola Kuti, has said.

The completion date of section 1, also known as the Sagamu-Lagos end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project, was last year reviewed up to 2021 to accommodate additions to the original design.

Kuti told journalists on Wednesday during a tour of the road that the contractor, Julius Berger, was on the ground to ensure speedy completion.

“As it is, we are just at about 40 per cent completion,” he said.

He said the Federal Government had set aside special funding under the National Sovereign Investment Fund to ensure that funding would not be a problem.

The controller, however, lamented the impatient attitude of road users, which he said had compounded efforts to achieve free flow of traffic on the road.

According to him, the traffic gridlock witnessed on the road last week, around kilometre 15 popularly called MFM junction was due to impatience and indiscipline.

Kuti said, “This section is the busiest and is already under construction. We understand that there are a lot of Nigerians going about their business but what we are fighting for is that people should not drive against traffic.

“Also, this is a construction zone and nobody should drive at 120km per hour. If people drive at 50km per hour we won’t have any problems on the road.”

The Sector Commander, FRSC Ogun State, Mr Clement Oladele, said indiscipline and age of vehicles plying the road were major problems.

“In Ogun State, most of the 272 deaths recorded last year were at construction zones. Majority of vehicles around such zones are trucks and because most of them are not well maintained, they have the tendency to break down. It happens on other parts of the road but why Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is more challenging is because of the higher number of vehicles,” he said.

Oladele stated that the FRSC had developed a new strategy to charge traffic offenders for dangerous driving.

“This attracts N50, 000 fine and if you are not able to pay after six months, we will approach the Federal High Court and you will forfeit your vehicle,” he added.

The Regional Manager for Julius Berger, Thomas Balzuweit, said a robust system had been put in place to control traffic as a key consideration while executing the project.

“This is an extremely busy part of the road. We are constantly reviewing the situation on this road and the effectiveness of our traffic control system and we will continue to do so. We are going to implement more measures but we need the cooperation of road users, it requires everybody to work together,” he said.

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 market.

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Economy

UK Slides Into Deepest Recession Following 20.4% Economic Contraction in Q2

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UK Finally Slides Into Recession, Expert Expects Investors to Look Elsewhere

United Kingdom experienced its deepest economic recession on record in the second quarter of 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This was coming shortly after the world’s fifth-largest economy exit the European Union in January.

The economy had contracted by 2.2 percent in the first quarter of the year when the negative impacts of COVID-19 were partially captured by the ONS.

In the second quarter, the report captured the complete impacts of COVID-19 on the economy in the second quarter and the entire first half of the year.

The report showed the United Kingdom’s economy contracted by another 20.4 percent in the second quarter, the deepest in the history of the nation.

A break down of the report revealed that the country’s most dominant sector, the services sector contracted by 19.9 percent in the second quarter. While the construction plunged by 35 percent.

This was followed by another 16.9 percent decline in the production industries that comprises of manufacturing, mining and energy provision.

Similarly, spending in the economy dropped with the lockdown that forced many people to stay at home during the quarter. Spending dipped by a quarter on weak retail sales and mostly idle factories and production sites.

While the economy contracted by 20.4 percent in the second quarter, the data reported a unique improvement in the last month of the quarter. The British economy expanded by 8.7 percent in the month of June, suggesting that the economy picked with the gradual reopening of business operations and activities across key sectors.

However, experts doubt the noticeable recovery would be enough to sustain the economy given the lack of COVID-19 vaccine.

Whilst the economy grew 8.7% in June, which beat economic estimates, and confirms a recovery is now underway, the real test will be after the summer when there are no more national lockdown-easing measures to lift the economic spirits, more local restrictions are likely to be imposed and as significant programmes such as the furlough scheme which has protected jobs come to a halt,” stated Nigel Green, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of deVere stated on Tuesday in an email to Investors King.

All of this creates ever more uncertainty in the UK economy.

The CEO added that global investors are likely to initiate precautionary measures to protect their assets against potential fall in UK-based financial assets going forward.

Mr. Green said “UK and global investors will be becoming increasingly nervous of this worrying situation and can be expected to take precautionary measures to insulate themselves against a potential fall in the value of UK-based financial assets.

“A growing number inevitably and quite sensibly are likely to be looking to grow and safeguard their wealth by moving assets overseas through various established international financial solutions.

“The pace of this trend, I believe, will increase over the next few months as the issues intensify.”

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Jagged Reopening of Nations Worldwide Paves Uncertain Path to Economic Recovery

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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.

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UK Recession Will Prompt Investors to Consider Overseas Options

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UK Investors Likely to Look Elsewhere as Economy Shrinks by 20.4%

A growing number of UK and global investors are likely to move their assets overseas as Britain enters its worst recession in history, affirms the boss of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.

The observation from Nigel Green, founder and chief executive of deVere Group, which has $12bn under advisement, comes as it is revealed that the UK economy suffered its biggest drop on record between April and June as coronavirus lockdown measures pushed the country officially into recession.

The economy contracted by 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year.

Mr Green notes: “As was expected, Britain is now officially in recession. It’s the deepest recession in UK history and the deepest of any G7 country.

“Whilst the economy grew 8.7% in June, which beat economic estimates, and confirms a recovery is now underway, the real test will be after the summer when there are no more national lockdown-easing measures to lift the economic spirits, more local restrictions are likely to be imposed and as significant programmes such as the furlough scheme which has protected jobs come to a halt.

“All of this creates ever more uncertainty in the UK economy.”

He continues: “UK and global investors will be becoming increasingly nervous of this worrying situation and can be expected to take precautionary measures to insulate themselves against a potential fall in the value of UK-based financial assets.

“A growing number inevitably and quite sensibly are likely to be looking to grow and safeguard their wealth by moving assets overseas through various established international financial solutions.

“The pace of this trend, I believe, will increase over the next few months as the issues intensify.”

The deVere CEO goes on to add that the confirmation of a recession “may be a good excuse to start that much-needed rebalancing in favour of global stocks, bonds, currencies and perhaps property.”

The weak economy also further boosts the chances of tax hikes and relief cuts in the UK November Budget.

“It is highly likely taxes will rise and reliefs be cut. Possible targets for hikes could include income tax for higher earners, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, and VAT.

“In addition, new wealth taxes may be brought in, which was something the Prime Minister was considering before the pandemic hit,” notes Mr Green.

These potential changes in the Budget can be expected to prompt those overseas with financial ties to the country, to look into the international options available to them.

He concludes: “Now could be a good time to revise your financial planning strategies to ensure you’re best-positioned to be able to grow and protect your wealth.”

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