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How FG’s dispute with MTN caused Nigeria to lose 43% of its FDI in 2018

A United Nations’ report detailing the state of global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2018, has shown that Nigeria lost as much as 43% of its FDI in 2018.

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Foreign Direct Investment

A United Nations’ report detailing the state of global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2018, has shown that Nigeria lost as much as 43% of its FDI in 2018.

The report, which was recently published on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Investment’s (UNCTAD) website, also revealed that sub-Saharan Africa witnessed a 13% upsurge in its FDI last year, closing at $32 billion against a global negative growth.

What this means is that while other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa witnessed an increase in FDI, Nigeria did not. Why was this the case?

The FG versus MTN Rift: The UNCTAD report identified the Federal Government’s sanction on telecoms giant, MTN Nigeria, over the latter’s failure to disconnect 5.2 million unregistered SIM cards from its subscriber base, as the main cause of the slide.

It would be recalled that after the Federal Government levied a fine of $5.2 billion on the company in 2015, a series of negotiations resulted in the fine being reduced to N330 billion. The last instalment of the fine was paid in May 2019.

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The domino effect of the action of the Federal Government’s fine on MTN resulted in a mass exodus of investors from the country. These investors apparently lost confidence in the country’s ability to safeguards their interests and businesses. As a result, they took their businesses elsewhere.

According to the UNCTAD, companies such as HSBC and UBS closed their representative offices in Nigeria in 2018, thereby contributing to the plunge in the country’s FDI to a paltry $2 billion.

Implications for the economy: The plunge in the FDI automatically signals that the economy is shrinking. At a time when the government is making efforts to block revenue leakages and develop the economy, the development is a major setback by all standards.

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This might result in massive job losses: The situation does not speak well of Nigeria’s ease of doing business. If not properly managed, it may trigger a chain reaction whereby more companies continue to toe the line of HSBC and UBS. In turn, this will result in more jobs being lost.

Interestingly, Ghana enjoyed $3 billion FDI inflows in 2018, which could have been partly influenced by capital flights from Nigeria even though UNCTAD said it was largely due to Eni Group’s oil and gas activities in the country.

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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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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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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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 30th of October 2020, 170 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 62,691 confirmed cases.

On the 30th of October 2020, 170 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,008 samples across the country.

To date, 62,521 cases have been confirmed, 58,249 cases have been discharged and 1,141 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 620,758 tests have been carried out as of October 30th, 2020 compared to 617,750 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 30th October 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 62,691
  • Total Number Discharged – 58,430
  • Total Deaths – 1,144
  • Total Tests Carried out – 620,758

According to the NCDC, the 170 new cases were reported from 11 states- Lagos (106), FCT (25), Oyo (14), Edo (7), Kaduna (7), Ogun (4), Bauchi (2), Benue (2), Kano (1), Osun (1), Rivers (1)

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 21,212, followed by Abuja (6,053), Plateau (3,630), Oyo (3,447), Rivers (2,810), Edo (2,664), Kaduna (2,648), Ogun (2,031), Delta (1,814), Kano (1,747), Ondo (1,666), Enugu (1,314),  Kwara (1,069), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (952), Osun (926), Abia (898), Gombe (883).  Borno (745), and Bauchi (713).

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Imo State has recorded 616 cases, Benue (493), Nasarawa (482), Bayelsa (412),  Ekiti (332), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (165), Taraba (146), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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.

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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.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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