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FSDH expects lower inflation figures in January 2019

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FSDH Merchant Bank Ltd, Inflation rate, private sector loans, NBS

Research conducted by FSDH Merchant Bank Ltd forecasted that inflation rate is expected to drop to 11.40 per cent from the 11.44 per cent recorded in December 2018.

According to the report by FSDH, the drop is not because the prices of consumer goods are dropping, but because the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased faster in January 2018 (0.8%) than in January 2019 (0.78%), so the headline may be misleading to suggest prices have actually dropped.

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In addition to this, a report from Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the third quarter of 2018, stated that Nigerians believe inflation and unemployment rated would rise in the next one year.

While FSDH predicts a drop in inflation, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that the inflation rate in Nigeria will rise to 13.5 per cent in 2019.

How does this research affect the CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring price stability (maintain low inflation rate that will stimulate economic activity), and according to the report from FSDH, they should be worried about the double-digit inflation for three reasons.

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“Firstly, the current inflation rate is higher than the 6 – 9% that the CBN targets for the country.

“Secondly, our outlook of the inflation rate as from June 2019, indicates that inflation may move up sharply as we expect adjustments in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and electricity tariff.

“Thirdly and perhaps the most important reason is that the tools the CBN usually uses to control rising inflation may not be very effective under the current situation. This is because the drivers of the expected increase in the inflation rate require different methods.”

Inflation in the country climbed to 11.23 per cent in August, higher than the 11.14 per cent recorded in July. However, inflation in Nigeria was estimated to fall to 12.4 per cent in 2018, from 16.5 per cent in 2017.

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Entertainment

FG approves 60% debt forgiveness for licensed radio and television stations  

The effective date of the debt forgiveness shall be July 10 – October 6, 2020. 

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FG reiterates commitment to implement reform of broadcasting code , Economy: FG restates commitment to border closure, FG releases new broadcast media regulation to affect DStv’s monopoly 

The Nigerian government granted a 60% debt forgiveness to all licensees indebted to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). The move was an additional step to the 2 months license fee waiver granted to the industry as a palliative to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said the measures were put in place as a result of the report submitted by the post-COVID-19 initiative committee for the creative industry. 

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He added that many radio and television stations remain indebted to the government to the tune of N7.8 billion. 

The Minister added that the debt forgiveness will not apply to pay-TV service operators but to only terrestrial TV and radio stations in the country.

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He added that the criterion for enjoying the debt forgiveness is for the debtor to pay 40% of their existing debt within 3 months. Any station that is unable to pay the 40% indebtedness within 3 months window shall forfeit the opportunity. 

Existing license fee is discounted by 30% for all open terrestrial radio and television services effective July 10. 

The effective date of the debt forgiveness shall be July 10 – October 6, 2020. 

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Scientists ask WHO to revise recommendations as new evidence emerges 

Researchers plan to publish in a scientific journal next week, an open letter to WHO.

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coronavirus, COVID-19: Infections rise to 42 as 2 new cases are confirmed, COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Hundreds of scientists have asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to revise its recommendation for the novel coronavirus pandemic, after they discovered new evidence suggesting that air-borne smaller particles of the virus can infect people. 

The WHO had disclosed that the coronavirus disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are discharged when a person with the coronavirus disease coughs, sneezes or speaks. 

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According to the scientists whether the virus is carried by large droplets that zoom through the air after a sneeze or by much smaller exhaled droplets that may move quietly through the length of a room, the coronavirus is borne through air and can infect people when inhaled. 

Researchers plan to publish in a scientific journal next week, an open letter to WHO by 239 scientists in 32 countries, where they outlined the evidence showing that smaller particles can infect people. 

However, the United Nations health agency has said that the report from the scientists that the virus is airborne was not convincing.  

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According to the WHO technical lead for Infection Prevention and Control, Dr Benedetta Allegranzi, ‘’Especially in the last couple of months, we have been stating several times that we consider airborne transmission as possible but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence.”  

It can be recalled that WHO said over the weekend that it was stopping its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir on hospitalized patients with the coronavirus disease after they failed to reduce the death rate. 

The setback came as the WHO reported more than 200,000 new cases of the disease globally, the first time in a single day. 

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Coronavirus

FCMB shuts contact centre locations due to COVID-19 scare

Other banks have recently had to shut down their branches due to public health concerns caused by COVID-19.

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FCMB contact centre

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited informed its customers, yesterday, that its contact centre locations have all been temporarily shut down following COVID-19 scare.

A brief statement that was issued via Twitter emphasised that the general shutdown of the physical locations is only a temporary and precautionary measure aimed at preventing further spread of the contagious virus. The statement, however, did not clarify whether there have been any reported cases of infection at these contact centre locations.

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“Dear Customers, we trust you are doing well and staying safe. We would like to inform you about the temporary closure of one of our Contact Centre locations as a precautionary measure to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and protect our employees,” part of the statement said.

Meanwhile, customers were informed that FCMB’s contact centres will remain active in the meantime, albeit virtually. However, customers may experience delays prior to being attended to. Customers were also advised to explore the self-help options offered by the bank’s electronic banking channels in order to resolve their challenges.

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Nairametrics understands that some of the bank’s customers have been experiencing some ‘not so great’ customer service over the past few weeks. One of these customers, who chose not to be named, confirmed this to Nairametrics. Reacting to the statement by the bank, the customer said:

“This statement explains why the bank has not been responding to complaints across all its channels. For at least 4 weeks now, they don’t respond to emails, WhatsApp messages or DMs. I have some funds that they have not reversed in like 4 weeks now. If you check Twitter, you will see so many similar complaints.”

Recall that some other banks have had to close down their branches due to the same reason given by FCMB. Just recently, Jaiz Bank Plc shut down its Ikeja branch for disinfection. Weeks before that, Wema Bank also confirmed that two of its branches were temporarily shut down after two staff became infected with the virus.

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