- LCCI Decries Nigeria’s Rising Unemployment
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has lamented the growing rate of unemployment in the country which rose to 20.9 million in the third quarter of 2018.
According to the Chamber, the development was a reflection that growth in the economy was still weak, fragile and not inclusive.
It, therefore, urged the federal government to sustain efforts to create the enabling environment to attract more private capital to boost investment and growth.
Addressing journalists, the President, Babatunde Paul Ruwase, also urged government at all levels to address its revenue challenges in order to improve budget performance and complete ongoing and abandoned infrastructural projects.
The Chamber noted that the latest unemployment report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the number of unemployed Nigerians had risen from 17.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, to 20.9 million as of the third quarter of 2018.
“This represents a rise from 18.8 per cent in fourth quarter of 2017 to 23.1 per cent in Q3 of 2018. The growing unemployment figure is a reflection that growth in the economy is still weak, fragile and not inclusive.
“It is imperative therefore to sustain efforts to create the enabling environments to attract more private capital to boost investment.”
Commenting on Nigeria’s revenue, the LCCI boss explained: “We are dealing with a situation where government revenue can barely fund the recurrent expenditure and debt service commitments thereby putting the delivery of capital projects at risk. This has been a challenge for all levels of government.”
However, in order to ensure improved independent revenue performance in 2019, he advised that revenue generating agencies of the government should do better than their current level of performance and remittance of surplus to the federation account.
He pointed out that the creation of better investment environment would also attract more private capital and investment which would invariably impact positively on government revenue and employment generation.
The LCCI urged the federal government to expedite action to complete infrastructure projects nationwide such as the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Lagos-Ibadan rail project, power projects, the Second Niger Bridge, East-West road among others.
Oil Prices Decline on Rising COVID-19 Cases
Global Oil Prices Dipped on Friday as New COVID-19 Cases Jump Globally
Global oil prices decline on Friday as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surged across the world.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined from $43.47 per barrel it traded on Thursday during the Asian trading session to $41.60 per barrel on Friday at around 11:39 am Nigerian time.
Oil traders and investors are worried that the rising number of COVID-19 new cases would disrupt demand for the commodity and force refineries to shut down once again.
“I do not suspect many oil traders will be looking to place significant bids in the market today, suggesting prices may continue to wallow into the weekend,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.
Despite efforts by both OPEC plus and other top oil producers to halt falling oil prices and reduce global oil glut, the lack of a cure for COVID-19 remained global concerns.
As previously stated on this platform, until a cure is found the world would have to find a way to either work through COVID-19 or shut down activities completely.
This is coming a day after the Federal Government of Nigeria announced that it was putting school resumption plan on hold following the latest COVID-19 report that shows Nigeria’s confirmed cases crossed 30,000 on Wednesday.
In the United States, more than 60,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday, forcing lawmakers to start contemplating the second phase of COVID-19 lockdown.
We Are Losing N13.9bn Monthly Because FG Caps Tariff – Discos
Discos Says it is Losing N14bn Monthly Because of NERC Capped Tariff
The Nigerian power Distribution Companies (Discos) have said they a losing N13.9 billion in revenue every month because the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, limited how much they can charge for consumption.
Ernest Mupwaya, the Managing Director, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, made the statement during a presentation on behalf of the Discos to the House of Representatives Committee on Power.
The statement was after the Discos demanded realistic indices before the implementation of the proposed service reflective tariff, which was supposed to be implemented on July 1.
Mupwaya said there were some outstanding requirements before the service reflective tariff could be implemented.
“One of them is the removal of estimated billing caps. The financial impact of the Capping Order is an average loss of N13.9bn monthly, thereby, undermining or jeopardising the minimum remittance requirement,” Mupwaya stated.
The July 1 service tariff implementation was halted by members of the National Assembly, who prevailed on the Discos to shelve the date to the first quarter of 2021 due to the current economic challenges in Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila Says Nigeria Can’t Compete in AfCFTA With Weak Industries
Nigeria Must Ramp up Industrialisation to Prevent Dumping by Other Nations
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said the nation can not compete effectively in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with weak industrialisation and manufacturing activities.
Gbajabiamila disclosed this while receiving Adesoji Adesugba, the newly appointed Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority.
The details of the visit were made public on Thursday in a statement titled, “AFCFTA: House Speaker tasks Nigeria on industrialisation through free trade zones.”
Gbajabiamila was quoted as saying “We must act proactively so that we don’t become a dumping ground for other African nations.
“Our best option in this circumstance is to immediately set machinery in motion to ensure the effective functioning and flourishing of our export processing zones.
“We must remove all bottlenecks and perfect all stumbling blocks. We will then be fully prepared for AfCFTA and also generate massive jobs for our unemployed youths and enhance our foreign earnings.”
He added that the nation must as a matter of national emergency ramp up industrialisation through free trade zones and other effective means to compete with South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised economy and other African nations.
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