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Why Nigeria wants to borrow another $1bn from China

The Federal Government, rising from its Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, concluded plans to take a fresh $1 billion foreign loan facility aimed at bankrolling the Gurara II Hydropower project.

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The Federal Government of Nigeria wants to borrow another loan from China to the tune of $1 billion. The loan facility is aimed at bankrolling the Gurara II Hydropower project. The decision was reached, yesterday, during the Federal Executive Council meeting, FEC.

According to President Muhammadu Buhari who led the session, the credit facility is to be provided by the China-Exim Bank. This will further increase Nigeria’s escalating debt profile by N360 billion.

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As Nairametrics recently reported, the Debt Management Office disclosed in April that Nigeria’s total exposure as of December 2018 was N24.387 trillion. The figure was N21.7 trillion in the corresponding period in 2017.

More on the proposed investment: While communicating the Federal Government’s position, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, stated that the investment would generate 360 megawatts of power upon completion. According to him;

“council also approved N5.7 billion revised total estimated cost for the completion of Nkari Dam in Akwa Ibom. Council also approved the appointment of a consultant to resuscitate the Gari Irrigation Project in Kano/Jigawa states. Council had in 2017 approved for the resumption of the project, which was earlier abandoned for 17 years.”

“The consultant is the same appointed in 1998. The contractors are already on the site. Council also approved the revised estimated total cost of N10.4 billion for the completion of Ile-Ife Dam in Osun State. The project was started in 2014 and abandoned. The completion period is 24 months.”

Energy Ministry to benefit: Meanwhile, Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Housing, Power, and Transportation, also mentioned that the sum of N11.208 billion was approved for the execution of projects under his ministry. One of these projects is the procurement of 200,217 metres by the Yola Electricity Distribution Company under the Meter Asset Providers Scheme.

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“As you might know, Yola Electricity Distribution Company is the Disco that was surrendered by the original holder. So, it is under the Federal Government’s management. So, they are buying 200,217 metres for consumers under their franchise, which covers Adamawa, Borno, Taraba and Yobe states.

“The cost of those metres is N11.208bn. It is to be funded from the judgment sum that I previously briefed you about two years ago, that council approved a compromise from an old metre supply dispute since 2003.

“So, that money is in a bank; that is where these metres will be funded from and as consumers pay back the metres as they are supplied, the money goes back into that account.” -Fashola

Furthermore, the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief Audu Ogbeh, while fielding questions from journalists, spoke about the approvals for the purchase of grains for storage.

“Everywhere in the world, silos are owned by the government into which they purchase grains at the end of harvest. The average is usually between two and three percent of all grains grown. In this case, we have got approval to buy 61,000 tons of maize, millet and sorghum and the purchasing will begin shortly.

“We also informed the council of the problem we have with Nigerian grains, especially maize, sesame seeds and groundnuts. An infestation called aflatoxin, which the Minister of Health confirmed, is a very big threat to the liver and the kidney of most consumers.

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“Luckily, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture has found a product which they produce in large quantities and send to Africa for treating the farms, the Silos and the sacks in which we put the grains to eliminate aflatoxin”, the minister told reporters.”

Mr. Ogbeh stated that the government still maintained its stance on domestically cultivated food for the populace, stressing that it has helped the government save about $21 billion on imports since 2015.

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Ronald Adamolekun is a creative writer with proficiency in journalism, financial reporting, financial analysis and imaginative writing. However, his core competency lies in fiction and short story writing as well as feature writing. He is a graduate of English and Literature from Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria.

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Macro-Economic News

Katsina State records fastest growth in mobile internet subscribers in Nigeria

Nigeria has a total of 136.2 million mobile internet subscribers as at 2020 Q1.

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Katsina State recorded a massive 41.46% jump in the number of mobile internet subscribers the fastest growth by any state in the country. This is according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. The data focus on mobile internet subscribers via GSM phones.

Katsina state recorded 3.679 million internet subscribers in the first quarter of 2020 compared to 3.17 million and 2.6 million subscribers in the 4th quarter and 1st quarter of 2019 respectively. This represents a 15.8% jump quarter on quarter and 41.5% jump year on year. No other state comes close.

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Edo State was however second year on year recording a growth of 36.8% to 4.3 million internet subscribers. Katsina was also recorded the fastest growth quarter on quarter followed by Sokoto State.

Nigeria’s Mobile Internet Subscribers Data

According to the data from the NBS, the total number of internet subscribers in Nigeria as at the first quarter of 2020 is 136, 203, 231. This compares to 126, 078, 999 in the 4th quarter of 2019 and 116, 310, 154 in the first quarter of 2019. This represents a QoQ growth of 8.03% and year on year growth of 17.1%.

Nigeria’s commercial cities of Lagos, Rivers State, FCT and Kano also recorded growth in internet subscribers year on year.

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Lagos State 

Subscribers – 17.02 million

YoY Growth – 7.16%

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Rivers State

Subscribers – 5.12 million

YoY Growth – 9.77%

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Kano

Subscribers – 8.33 million

YoY Growth – 33.19%

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FCT

Subscribers – 6.13 million

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YoY Growth – 13.3%

Growth by Geopolitical Zones

We also observed the North West still retains the number one position in terms of internet subscribers per geopolitical zone with 46.9 million subscribers out of a total of 136.2 million in the country. The North-Eastern part of the country recorded the fastest growth of 23.3%. See below;

Internet Subscribers by Geo-Political Zones. Source: NBS/Nairametrics

 

Internat Subscribers by GSM Companies

MTN continues to lead with 57.2 million subscribers. They also grew the fastest YoY by 23%

MTN – 57,282,123
GLO – 33,871,456
AIRTEL – 36,827,677
9MOBILE – 7,762,068
Others – 459,907
Total – 136,203,231

Upshots: Internet subscriber’s growth in Nigeria continues to record double-digit growth and one of the fastest in the world. The competition for mobile data subscription is intense and could end up being a winner take all activity. As GSM companies move in search of growth, the North seems the area with the most potential for double-digit subscriber growth.

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Energy

COVID-19: Minister of Power instructs contractors back to site as lockdown eases

The power minister gave the directive during an inspection visit to the new Gagarawa 2.

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Second largest hydropower project in Africa to finally take off after settlement of legal dispute

The Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, has asked all contractors handling power projects across the country to return back to project sites following the gradual relaxation of the lockdown by the Federal Government, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The directive from the minister was contained in a press statement by the Special Adviser to the Minister on Media and Communications, Aaron Artimas, on Sunday, July 12, 2020, in Abuja.

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The power minister gave the directive during an inspection visit to the new Gagarawa 2 by 60 Mega Volt Amp (MVA) 132/33 Kilo Volt Sub-station being constructed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in Jigawa.

Mamman, lamented the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the power sector, pointing out that the sector was among the worst affected with the entire value chain directly or indirectly counting losses.

The Minister in the statement said, ‘’I can tell you that the impact of the pandemic is huge in the power sector as a real service provider. We, however, have joined the government effort to restart the economy with the easing of the lockdown and opening of the interstate road.’’

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“I direct all contractors handling power projects to return to sites and work assiduously to recover from the losses recorded during this lockdown,” he said.

Mamman said the Gagarawa Sub-station project would boost power supply in over 7 local government areas including an industrial area.

On his part, the Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru, who was part of the inspection team, commended the power minister’s effort at ensuring completion of these projects that have been on for over 20 years.

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The News agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the sub-station is 99% completed and has been energized.

The acting Managing Director of TCN, Suleiman Abdulaziz, who was also part of the inspection asked for speedy completion of similar sub-station across the country.

 

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Financial Services

How to protect your bank accounts from hackers and fraudsters

Cybercriminals have been on the prowl trying to steal, even as banks intensify efforts to warn customers.

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How to urgently protect your bank accounts

There has never been a time we should all be more concerned about the security of our bank accounts. There are too many scammers/internet fraudsters on the prowl, and they are constantly devising new sophisticated methods to steal your money.

In April this year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a fraud alert to the Nigerian public about the alarming rate of cybercrime activities in the country. According to the apex bank, cybercriminals resorted to taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to defraud citizens, steal sensitive information, or gain unauthorized access into computers or mobile devices using different techniques. You may keep up with that by clicking here.

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In the weeks and months that followed CBN’s fraud alert, deposit money banks in the country have all intensified efforts at educating/encouraging their customers to become more careful and protective of their bank accounts. Numerous hands-on tips have also been emailed to these customers by the banks. In this article, we have summarised some of these tips, as you can see below:

  • Never disclose your mobile app activation code to anyone over the phone, via SMS, email, or in person. Be warned!
  • Never reveal your card number, OTP, Pin, or password to anyone over the phone, via SMS, email, or in person. Do not do this, even when the person requesting for such details claim to be from your bank’s headquarters!
  • Desist from clicking suspicious links or downloading attachments and apps from unknown sources!
  • Do not entertain unsolicited phone calls, SMS, or emails asking you personal details about yourself or asking for information about your bank accounts!
  • Again, do not fall for fraudsters’ phishing baits. They are smart and you should be ten times smarter than them!
  • Update your security software by installing the latest updates of your operating system and mobile banking app.
  • Avoid unsecured wifi!
  • Do not perform sensitive financial transactions using public wifi or networks you do not know the source. Do not let your love for free things expose you to risks!
  • Instead, use a secure connection whenever you perform online transactions.

Remember, you worked hard for your money and the economic situation in the country at the moment is hard. It would, therefore, be a shame to have your money stolen just because you were careless for a moment. This is why you must do everything possible to protect your bank accounts.

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