The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may change its monetary policy stance next year from the current tightening position to an easing stand that will see the benchmark interest rate come down from the current 14 percent. Governor of the bank, Godwin Emefiele made this known at an event organized by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Annual Bankers Dinner held in Lagos. The apex bank has left the interest rate unchanged at 14% since mid 2016.
Why Emefiele is bullish
Emefiele hinged his forecasts on the foreign exchange and exchange rate management policies of the apex bank in recent months, which has led to a drop of 65 per cent in the monthly food import bill of the country from an average of $5.5bn to $1.9bn as of June 2017. Foreign reserves have also recovered to over $34.3 billion as at the first week of November.
“We have also seen a significant appreciation of the naira from over N500/$1 to about N360/$1. In addition, we have seen stability in the rate for over six months now. I am glad to note that the exchange rate is not only stable, it is also converging across various windows and segments of the market.
As realistic as the Governor’s forecast is, significant risks abound. Nigeria’s fortunes are heavily dependent on oil. While global crude oil prices remain reasonably stable, militants in the Niger Delta have called off a ceasefire and threatened to resume attacks on oil installations. Should this happen, Nigeria’s oil production volumes could decline, leading to a drop in foreign exchange revenue. This in turn, would lead to a drop in foreign exchange reserves.
BREAKING: It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than Saudi Arabia – President Buhari
Nigeria sells petrol at N161 per litre when the same is sold at higher in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ghana, Chad, and Republic of Benin.
The Federal Government has said that it does not make sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Niger Republic and Republic of Benin, other oil-producing nations.
This was disclosed by President Muhammadu Buhari during his Diamond Jubilee Presidential Broadcast to mark the nation’s 60th independence anniversary on Thursday.
He said, “We sell petrol at N161 per litre when same is sold at N168/litre in Saudi Arabia, N211/litre in Egypt, N362/litre in Ghana, N362 in Chad, and N346 in Niger Republic among others.
“It does not make sense for petrol to be cheaper in Nigeria than Saudi Arabia.
“Fellow Nigerians, to achieve the great country we desire, we need to solidify our strength, increase our commitment and encourage ourselves to do that which is right and proper even when no one is watching.”
Google launches Chromecast with Google TV
Google unveils the Chromecast device to stream contents from Walt Disney Co’s Disney+ and Netflix.
Alphabet Inc’s Google, some hours ago, launched Chromecast with Google TV, a hardware platform designed to show contents from leading streaming services like Walt Disney Co’s Disney+ and the most popular streaming service company, Netflix.
The tech juggernaut unveiled the Chromecast streaming device that now comes with a remote control. It will cost $49.99 in the U.S, and will be available in other countries by the end of 2020.
The real advantage this device holds looks to be the underlying search smarts that serve as the foundation for so much of what Google does. Here’s the company discussing the new feature in a blog post:
“Google TV’s For You tab gives you personalized watch suggestions from across your subscriptions organized based on what you like to watch—even your guilty pleasure reality dramas. Google TV’s Watchlist lets you bookmark movies and shows you want to save for later.
You can add to your Watchlist from your phone or laptop, and it will be waiting on your TV when you get home.
The new Chromecast with Google TV comes in a compact and thin design and is packed with the latest technology to give you the best viewing experience. It neatly plugs into your TV’s HDMI port and tucks behind your screen.
- Switching it on, the new Google Tv comes with a crystal clear video in up to 4K HDR at up to 60 frames per second in no time. With Dolby Vision, you’ll get extraordinary color, contrast, and brightness on your TV.
- The Hardware also supports HDMI pass coupled with Dolby audio content.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 30th of September 2020, 201 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 58,848 confirmed cases.
On the 30th of September 2020, 201 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,549 samples across the country.
To date, 58,848 cases have been confirmed, 50,358 cases have been discharged and 1,112 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 509,555 tests have been carried out as of September 30th, 2020 compared to 507,006 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 30th September 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 58,848
- Total Number Discharged – 50,358
- Total Deaths – 1,112
- Total Tests Carried out – 509,555
According to the NCDC, the 201 new cases were reported from 13 states- Lagos (77), Rivers (37), Plateau (25), FCT (13), Kaduna (12), Ogun (12), Adamawa (8), Taraba (7), Imo (4), Kwara (2), Osun (2), Abia (1), Oyo (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,461, followed by Abuja (5,709), Plateau (3,450), Oyo (3,261), Edo (2,626), Rivers (2,432), Kaduna (2,419), Ogun (1,850), Delta (1,802), Kano (1,737), Ondo (1,631), Enugu (1,289), Ebonyi (1,040), Kwara (1,036), Abia (895), Gombe (883). Katsina (861), Osun (839), Borno (745), and Bauchi (699).
Imo State has recorded 572 cases, Benue (481), Nasarawa (450), Bayelsa (399), Jigawa (325), Ekiti (321), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (248), Anambra (237), Sokoto (162), Taraba (102), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara (78), Yobe (76), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.