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Pledged investments in Nigeria’s economy increased by 37% in 2018 -NIPC

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Total investments’ commitments in Nigeria’s economy between January and December 2018, stood at $90.9 billion. The figure increased from $66.36 billion in 2017, an increment by 36.98%.

The $90.9 billion represented the total investments in the country’s various sectors of the economy.

Breakdown

Figures obtained from the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) showed that the $90.9 billion proposed investments were made for 92 projects in 23 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

Comparatively, the proposed investments for 2018 showed a 27 per cent growth when compared to the  $66.36bn figure recorded in 2017.

An analysis of the sectorial investment, according to figures provided by the NIPC, showed that mining and quarrying accounted for a huge chunk of the investment with 35 per cent of the total value.

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This is followed by the manufacturing sector with 24 per cent, while construction with 20 per cent, transportation and storage with 15 per cent followed, respectively.

Other sectors, according to the NIPC, accounted for the balance of six per cent.

The commission said the investments commitments were made by investors from 20 countries.

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Domestic investors accounted for a huge chunk of the proposed investments with about 33 per cent of the value. This is followed by investors from the United Arab Emirates with 20 per cent, while France stood at 18 per cent, and the United Kingdom with 10 per cent.

The report said the balance of 19 per cent were investment commitments made by other investors from other countries.

The report stated that the Federal Capital Territory was the biggest beneficiary of the proposed investments as it got about 21 per cent of the total investment pledged during the period.

It added that Rivers State accounted for 18 per cent, while Lagos and Bayelsa got 14 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively

It stated that the other states accounted for the balance of 34 per cent.

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The report noted that the most active month was September last year with 12 investment projects reported.

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This is closely followed by the months of December and February with 11 projects each month. The report stated that while September accounted for 22 per cent of the total value, December and February had 19 per cent and one per cent, respectively.

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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ENDSARS

IGP says protesters attacked 205 public, private facilities

Data collated when the #End SARS peaceful protest started indicated that 14 states recorded major violence.

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IGP orders immediate withdrawal of police officers attached to VIPs

The Nigerian Police Force has stated that about 205 critical national security assets, corporate facilities and private properties were razed down and vandalized during the EndSARS protest, which was hijacked by hoodlums and arsonists.

This was disclosed by Mr Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police, during a virtual conference of Senior Police Officers in Abuja, according to a news report by NAN.

Adamu disclosed that data collated between Oct. 11, when the #End SARS peaceful protest started as a demonstration, and Oct. 27, after it was hijacked by the vandals, indicated that 14 states recorded major violence.

He said that some of the states severely affected by this civil unrest are Lagos, Edo, Delta, Oyo, Kano, Plateau, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Rivers, Abia, Imo, Ekiti, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The violence had resulted in attacks on critical national security infrastructure, other corporate and private properties, as well as injuries or fatalities to civilians, the police, and other security agents.

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What you should know

  • 71 public warehouses and 248 privately owned stores were looted in the course of the protests nationwide.
  • 51 civilian fatalities with 37 injured, and 22 policemen gruesomely murdered with 26 others injured were recorded during the protest.
  • 10 firearms, including 8 AK 47 rifles, were carted away during the attack on police stations, and a locally made pistol had been recovered from elements operating under the guise of the EndSARS protest.
  • 1,596 suspects have so far been arrested in connection with the violence and widespread looting across the country.

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Macro-Economic News

Nigeria’s food Inflation rises by 110.5% in five years

Nigeria’s Food Inflation has risen by 110.5% between September 2015 and September 2020.

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Despite billions on agriculture, food inflation up by 108% since 2015.

Nigeria’s food inflation has risen by 110.5% in 5 years, between September 2015 and September 2020.

A comparison of the Composite Food Index within the period under review indicated that food inflation rose from 181.8 index points to 382.7 index points.

This means that the price of food items has not only increased, but more than doubled in the last five years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Similarly, the All Items Index rose by 92.4% during the same period.

Food items that have witnessed significant increases

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Data obtained from Nairalytics, the research arm of Nairametrics, revealed that:

  • Foreign rice (Caprice) which sold for an average of N14,500 as of May 2019 is now sold for an average of N30,000.
  • A 50kg bag of Ijebu garri that sold for N7,200 in May 2019, now costs N13,700.
  • A 25-litre keg of vegetable oil sold for N9,750 in May 2019, now sells for N14,625.
  • A piece of frozen fish which cost N417 in May 2019, now sells for N625.

Why are the figures going up?

The hike in the cost of staple food items could be attributed to the border closure directive of the federal government that was announced in August 2019.

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It is projected to hit 20% by the first quarter of 2021, when the effects of the increase in petrol and electricity prices are accounted for.

Also, yield per hectare for most farming is well below global standards, driving up the cost of whatever is left to be sold to Nigerians.

Farmers also face insecurity, flooding, and sometimes famine affecting their ability to plant and harvest. Even after harvesting, supply chain challenges still persist, leaving farmers to contend with middlemen, transportation, and storage. The result is far less farm produce reaching the final consumer.

What they are saying

Prof. Steve Hanke, an American Applied Economist at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, expressed his dissatisfaction over the performance of Buhari’s administration.

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According to him, the Federal Government could do more than what it is doing; he described the administration as a failure over security of its citizens, unemployment, and inflation.

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He tweeted, “President Muhammadu Buhari has failed. Nigeria is in the grip of chaos. Bandits control major highways.

“The government can’t protect its own citizens from Boko Haram or the corrupt Police. Unemployment stands at 27.1%, and Inflation, which I accurately measure every day and that soars at 30.37%/yr.”

What you should know

  • On October 15, 2020, Nairametrics reported that Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 13.71% (year-on-year) in September 2020, indicating 0.49% point higher than 13.22% recorded in August 2020. This was contained in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) about two weeks ago.
  • According to the report, Nigeria has endured persistent increase in inflationary rate —growing from 12.13% in January to 13.71% in September—the highest recorded in 30 months.
  • A closely watched component of the food inflation index rose by 16.66% in September 2020 — a 0.66% increase compared to 16% recorded in the previous month.
  • On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index rose by 1.88% compared to 1.67% recorded in August 2020.
  • Meanwhile, the rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, fish, fruits, and oils and fats.

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Financial Services

Protecting your money from fraudsters

The ability to carry out transactions from the comfort of your homes, comes with the responsibility of safeguarding your money.

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Financial crisis is imminent in Nigeria -Dr. Segun Aina, Yahoo Yahoo

The advent of the cashless policy in Nigeria came as both a gift and a curse. On the plus side, one does not need to lug bags of cash around, especially for interstate transactions—just get depositors to transfer funds to your account, and you in turn, transfer to your business partners.

The policy has also made banks more innovative by creating various payment platforms that don’t need physical cash. Each bank has a robust mobile banking app where customers can transfer funds, subscribe for cable TV, book flights, buy airtime, etc., without entering a banking hall. For those without smart phones, the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) option is there. Even ATM cards have been upgraded to do more than pay cash. What a time to be alive!

However, with these strides in innovation, come the downsides—robbers have adapted with the times by moving from the highway and taking their “trade” online. The  various options open to customers for processing transactions can also be manipulated by thieves to defraud account holders of their hard-earned funds.

Hopefully, after reading this article, readers would be better armed to protect their funds from these “online robbers.”

1. Do not divulge sensitive account details to unknown callers

As surprising as it seems, many people still fall prey to this trick, despite several warnings. There have been many instances of people admitting that they received calls from unknown callers, who claim to be staff of various banks. They are told that their accounts require some form of upgrade\corrections, and to do this, information like ATM card PINs and PANs, and details of messages sent to the account owners’ phones are needed. The “bank staff” then creates mobile banking apps tied to the bank accounts of the unsuspecting owners, and from there, all funds are transferred to several unknown recipients.

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2. Protect card details

As already stated, ATM cards are not just used for cash withdrawals now—they can also be used for funds transfers, bills payments, online transactions, etc. this means that one does not necessarily need the physical presence of their card to process some transactions. With knowledge of the card Primary Account Number (PAN), which are the 16 digits displayed on the card’s surface, the Personal Identification Number (PIN), and Card Verification Value (CVV) number, displayed on the back of the card, funds can be moved from one’s account.

It is therefore important to protect these details, especially when using the card in public places like ATM lobbies, and POS machines. You should be equally careful not to call out such details, if absolutely necessary, within earshot of people.

3. Always keep your phone safe

Imagine mourning the loss of your phone, then having the added heartache of losing the funds in your bank account(s).

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The value of a phone goes beyond its price, these days. It contains private valued information of its owner, among which are bank account details; it also contains the SIM through which transaction alerts are received. The SIM makes it possible to process USSD transactions.

There have been instances where phones were given to repairmen, only for the owners to realise later that funds had been transferred from their accounts via USSD to unknown beneficiaries. Even relatives have been known to secretly steal funds from accounts, just by handling the owner’s phones.

Always keep your phone locked, and know where it is at all times.

4. Pay attention to transaction alerts

It is very easy to assume that all is well with one’s account, and not bother with checking transaction alerts. After all, it is what you withdrew that must have left the account, right? Wrong!

As explained above, funds could have left your account without your authorisation. So pay attention to your transaction alerts, especially the balances, and quickly investigate any transaction that was not initiated with your permission—the earlier the better, for quick resolution with your bank.

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Also note that the absence of alerts despite transactions could also be a red flag, as the SIM could have been swapped, giving fraudsters a free hand to run your account.

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5. Know the USSD code for instant account deactivation

Imagine the horror of receiving alerts showing that your account is being continuously debited as you helplessly watch it happen, especially during over weekend when banks are closed.

This doesn’t need to happen. Right from the first debit, you should be able to take action and deactivate your account to prevent further debits. This is why it is important to know the emergency code of each bank where your funds are kept. For example, with Zenith Bank, any phone can be used to enter USSD code *966*911#, provide your account number, and the number used to receive alerts, and the account gets instantly deactivated. After this, you can take your time to investigate the stolen money, instead of frantically running around to stop further debits.

It is also important to know the various ways to reach your bank during emergencies—get their customer care lines from their websites, and if they have chatbots, engage them; also know their email addresses. Getting your account officer’s number too is useful.

Conclusion

Apparently, with the ability to carry out transactions from the comfort of your homes, comes the responsibility of safeguarding your money (to an extent). These tips should make it easier to do so.

However, in a case where the money has already been stolen, contact your bank as soon as possible for investigation and possible recovery.

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