The World Bank in its latest report has downgraded Nigeria’s growth prediction for 2019 to 2.1% as against the earlier growth forecast of 2.2%. The disclosure was made in the June 2019 edition of the World Bank’s Global Economic Flagship Report.
Similarly, the World Bank stated that slower-than-expected mining and oil production, combined with domestic policy uncertainties have delayed the growth recovery in some of the largest commodity exporters in Sub-Saharan Africa (Angola, Nigeria, South Africa).
Sub-Saharan Growth: The World Bank stresses that the economic environment in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains challenging, stating that the external and domestic headwinds that caused the slowdown in 2018 are dissipating more slowly than previously envisaged.
Specifically, the World Bank group stresses that the growth of the three largest African economies (Angola, Nigeria, and South Africa) in the region has remained subdued in 2019.
The Bank explained that the ease in external financing conditions and recovering commodity prices have only partly offset the Weak external demand from major economies, persistent policy uncertainty, and domestic growth bottlenecks.
Some largest economies – The World Bank stated that South Africa’s continued policy uncertainty and rolling power blackouts have slowed economic activity in the first half of 2019. However, the Bank expects the country’s economy to be strengthened through easier external financing conditions and as the new administration fast-tracks reforms to transform the business environment.
Meanwhile, the World Bank stressed that excluding Angola, Nigeria, and South Africa, SSA growth is expected to be more robust through other countries.
- Angola is expected to emerge from three years of contraction
- Cameroon and Ghana’s investment in new oil and natural gas capacity will aid in growth recovery in the region
- Rise in mining production in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Guinea will spur growth
- Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda will record growth due to the rise in the private sector’s participation.
Bottom Line: In April 2019, the World Bank retracted its forecast by stating that its growth projection for Africa is now 2.8 percent. The latest prediction brings the World Bank and CBN predictions to 2.1%, while the IMF still stands at 2.2%.
Explaining the reasons for a decline in Nigeria’s growth forecast, the World Bank stated the downward review of the country’s growth is due to continued constraints from foreign exchange restrictions, supply disruptions in the oil sector, and a lack of much-needed reforms to spur new capacity.
According to the World Bank Group President David Malpass,
“Stronger economic growth is essential to reducing poverty and improving living standards. Current economic momentum remains weak, while heightened debt levels and subdued investment growth in developing economies are holding countries back from achieving their potential.
“It’s urgent that countries make significant structural reforms that improve the business climate and attract investment. They also need to make debt management and transparency a high priority so that new debt adds to growth and investment.”
What this means: The 2.1% growth forecast for the Nigerian economy implies activities may slow down further in the course of the year. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) emphasized in its recent Monetary Policy communique that the economy is underperforming its capacity. However, if the 2.1% growth is achieved, it means the economy will have improved its growth by only 0.17% in a year.
Software bug brings down Microsoft Teams, Azure
Microsoft’s Teams app recently experience a bit of a glitch that affected services globally.
Microsoft recently disclosed that it was investigating an outage that brought down its cloud-based office services, including the meetings software, Teams, worldwide.
Microsoft reported challenges with authentication for its cloud services at around 9.25 pm UTC, meaning people were having issues logging into the online services; Teams, Outlook, and Office. The outage had affected services globally.
In a series of tweets sent by the world’s most valuable software maker and seen by Nairametrics, the company said:
“We’re investigating an issue affecting access to multiple Microsoft 365 services. We’re working to identify the full impact and will provide more information shortly.
“We’ve published MO222965 to the Microsoft 365 Admin Dashboard, and will also be updating http://status.office.com with updates to our investigation.
“We’ve identified a recent change that appears to be the source of the issue. We’re rolling back the change to mitigate the impact. Please follow http://status.office.com for updates on this issue if you are unable to access the admin portal.”
We're investigating an issue affecting access to multiple Microsoft 365 services. We're working to identify the full impact and will provide more information shortly.
— Microsoft 365 Status (@MSFT365Status) September 28, 2020
Why it’s important: In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, value chain services like Teams have been critical for individuals, and businesses working remotely.
In the month of April, Microsoft reported 75 million daily active users on Teams as a result of more people working from home.
With so many users depending on its services, Microsoft cannot afford to have any downtime. However, it reported that the services were mostly restored, though a small subset of customers in North America and the Asia Pacific were still unable to access them.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 28th of September 2020, 136 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were 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 58,460 confirmed cases.
On the 28th of September 2020, 136 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 1,450 samples across the country.
To date, 58,460 cases have been confirmed, 49,895 cases have been discharged and 1,111 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 507,006 tests have been carried out as of September 28th, 2020 compared to 505,556 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 28th September 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 58,460
- Total Number Discharged – 49,895
- Total Deaths – 1,111
- Total Tests Carried out – 507,006
According to the NCDC, the 136 new cases were reported from 13 states- Lagos (71), Rivers (23), Plateau (12), Adamawa (6), Oyo (6), Kaduna (5), Abia (3), FCT (3), Katsina (2), Kwara (2), Bauchi (1), Borno (1), Edo (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,310, followed by Abuja (5,677), Plateau (3,400), Oyo (3,260), Edo (2,625), Kaduna (2,402), Rivers (2,370), Ogun (1,836), Delta (1,802), Kano (1,737), Ondo (1,631), Enugu (1,289), Ebonyi (1,040), Kwara (1,034), Abia (894), Gombe (864). Katsina (859), Osun (827), Borno (742), and Bauchi (699).
Imo State has recorded 568 cases, Benue (481), Nasarawa (449), Bayelsa (398), Jigawa (325), Ekiti (321), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (240), Anambra (237), Sokoto (162), Taraba (95), 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.
School Feeding Programme: We found N2.6 billion in private accounts – ICPC
The ICPC raised alarm of discovery of N2.67 billion payment meant for school feeding programme, in personal accounts.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, announced that it found N2.67 billion in some private accounts which was meant for the provision of school feeding to federal colleges during the COVID-19 lockdown.
This was revealed by the ICPC chief, Bolaji Owasanoye, on Monday at the 2nd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in Abuja, according to Vanguard.
Nairametrics reported in August that the FG said it only spent about N523.3 million on the school feeding program during the lockdown.
“We observed that transfers to sub-TSA were to prevent disbursement from being monitored. Nevertheless, we discovered payments to some federal colleges for school feeding in the sum of N2.67 billion during lockdown when the children were not in school, and some of the money ended up in personal accounts. We have commenced investigations into these finding,” Owasanoye said.
He also disclosed that the sum of N2.5 billion was illegally appropriated by a deceased senior staff of the Ministry of Agriculture; other assets recovered were 25 plots of land, 12 building premises and 18 buildings.
He said the Open Treasury Portal review was exercised from January to August on all MDAs, which he says N4.2 billion paid to private accounts could not be explained.