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Shinzo Abe Japanese Prime Minister Resigns, Ending Almost a Decade Policy, Abenomics

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stimulus

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Resigns Due to Health Reasons

Japanese longest-serving Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has announced his resignation after battling health issues for years.

Abe, 65, became Japan’s prime minister in 2012 and immediately introduced what is now known as Abenomics’ economic policy structured based on monetary easing, fiscal stimulus through government spending and structural reforms.

In April 2013, using Abenomics (conned from Abe and Economics), Bank of Japan announced ¥60 to ¥70 trillion yearly bond-buying program to ease economic hardship and stimulate growth from within. This led to 55 percent increase in the value of the Japanese stock market just a month after BoJ introduced Quantitative Easing (QE).

The central bank increased its quantitative easing to ¥80 trillion in 2014 as survey results showed 74 percent of Japanese praised the prime minister for putting an end to Japan’s prolonged recession.

On Friday, Abe said he stepped down because he did not want his illness to get in the way of critical decision and apologised to the Japanese people for failing to complete his term in the office.

He said “I made a judgement I should not continue my job as a prime minister.”

“I would like to sincerely apologise to the people of Japan for leaving my post with one year left in my term of office, and amid the coronavirus woes, while various policies are still in the process of being implemented.”

While it is unclear when the Prime Minister would formally resign, the Nikkei declined by 2.25 percent on Friday before closing 1.41 percent lower at 22,882.65 as investors fear Abe’s resignation might bring an end to Japan’s stable economy.

“The Nikkei will likely head to around 21,000, a level where its price-to-book ratio will be 1.0,” said Takatoshi Itoshima, a strategist at Pictet Asset Management.

“Japanese stocks tend to do well under a long, stable government and that was especially the case for Abe. Foreign investors may also worry what will happen to the relationship between the government and the Bank of Japan.”

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

AfCFTA Must Be Backed by Legal Framework to Yield Desired Results -Lawan

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For AfCFTA to Achieve Expected Results, it must be Backed With Legal Framework

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has said for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to yield desired results, it must be backed by necessary legal frameworks, right policies and robust implementation.

The Senate President made the statement when the delegation from the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat led by Wamkele Keabetswe Mene visited him in Abuja.

Ahmad Lawan, who was represented by Prof Ajayi Boroffice, said Nigeria’s signed the AfCFTA agreement to benefit Africans and reduce the huge unemployment and underemployment facing the continent from South to West and East to North.

This high unemployment rate and underemployment rate, according to him, had led to the migration of some of Africa’s top brains and experts. He said the economies of African nations had been characterised by weak economic productivity, low efficiency and limited resources.

He described AfCFTA as “a step in the right direction for the growth of African economies, through limited restrictions, leading to the stimulation of trade, commerce, and industry”.

“In signing the AfCFTA, and depositing the instrument with the African Union Commission, our countries made a statement on the determination of our collective economic fate.

He, therefore, said the fate is now in our hands to deepen growth and development on the continent through requisite legal frameworks, right policies, and robust implementation.

The initial momentum from the signing of the agreement needs to be continued, for a greater continental impact, to benefit Africans, both on the continent and outside it,” he said.

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Economy

Inflation, Forex Scarcity Push Food Prices Up in August

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Inflation

Food Prices Rise in August Amid Surge in Inflation

Persistent increase in prices amid forex scarcity bolstered food prices in the month of August, according to the recent report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In the report released on Tuesday, the bureau said the average price of 1kg of imported high-quality rice rose by 40.69 percent year-on-year in August.

On a monthly basis, this increased by 2.30 percent to N501.71 in August 2020, up from N490.44 in July 2020.

Nigeria’s consumer prices that measures prices of goods and services rose to 13.22 percent in August as forex scarcity amid economic uncertainties weighed on Africa’s largest economy.

The statistic office said the average price of 1kg of yam rose by 34.74 percent year-on-year and decreased on a monthly basis by -0.15 percent from N256.44 in July to N256.06 in August 2020.

Similarly, the price of 1kg of tomato expanded by 29.48 percent year-on-year while it decreased on a monthly basis by 4.65 percent from N301.01 posted in July 2020 to N289.86 in August 2020.

NBS stated that selected food price watch “reflected that the average price of one dozen of agric eggs medium size increased year-on-year by 3.70 per cent and month-on month by 1.02 per cent to N478.97 in August 2020 from N474.12 in July 2020 while the average price of piece of agric eggs medium size (price of one) increased year-on-year by 5.44 per cent and month-on month by 0.76 per cent to N42.78 in August 2020 from N42.45 in July 2020.

The report also noted that the recent flood caused by the sudden release of water from Kainji Hydro Power Dam in Niger State wreaked havoc on the N60 billion sugar investment project in the state.

According to Latif Busari, the Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), who spoke in Abuja, said the destruction was a huge setback for the flour mills industry and the entire nation as it would affect the 4,500 metric tons of sugarcane daily processing projected by the company and the one million tones of sugar production agreed with major sugar producers recently.

Busari, however, said the flood, which affected N60 billion investment, was not natural, but man-made from Kainji Dam.

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Economy

FG Reduces Expenditure on JV Oil Assets by 62%

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NNPC

NNPC Lowers Spending on JV Oil Assets as Demand Drops

In a bid to reduce expenditure following a plunge in revenue generation, the federal government has cut down on spending on oil and gas assets currently being developed through a joint venture with private companies.

Federal Government lowered its expenses by 61.83 percent in the month of July, according to the latest report from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

The report showed NNPC, which has an obligation to make cash call payment for the development of the assets, only made $94.84 million or N34.14 billion cash call in July, down from $248.48 million or N89.45 billion in June.

The joint venture is managed by both the NNPC and private firms in proportion to their equity holdings and receives produced crude oil the same ratio.

This was largely due to the plunge in NNPC’s export receipt from $378.42 million in June to $122.44 million during the month under review.

“Of the export receipts, $67.45m was remitted to the Federation Account while $54.98m was remitted to fund the JV cost recovery for the month of July 2020 to guarantee current and future production,” it added.

In addition to the dollar allocation of $54.98 million to the JV cash call account, the naira portion of N14.35bn ($39.86m) was transferred to the account from domestic crude oil receipts in July, according to the NNPC.

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