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Critical times loom for Nigeria as oil price dips below $60 budget benchmark

Oil price dropped to below $60 a barrel in the early hours of Tuesday. This is the first time crude oil price would fall below $60 since January 2019.

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2020 revised budget, spending inefficiencies, and a looming debt hole  , President Muhammadu Buhari, loans, Oil price, FG, Solar vehicles, P&ID firm, Nigeria's GDP, Debt Servicing: Nigeria pays $1.12 billion to World Bank, others in 10-month , How the latest Fitch report affects you in 2020 , Nigeria’s credit rating faces downgrade by Fitch, Nigeria’s fiscal crisis looms, oil hits $32, S&P downgrades Nigeria to junk rating, as India cuts interest rates

Oil price dropped to below $60 a barrel in the early hours of Tuesday, as trade tension between the U.S and China intensifies. This is the first time Brent oil price would inch down below $60 since January 2019.

Specifically, Brent Crude oil price has continued its free fall in recent days and it has finally fallen below $60, as it traded at $59.79 per barrel. Also, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was down 24 cents, or 0.4%, at $55.42 a barrel.

Trade tension dips oil price: The latest drop in oil price is due to concerns about weaker crude demand after U.S. President Donald Trump disclosed he would impose tariffs on more Chinese imports, which is potentially ramping up a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

  • Earlier on, investors’ sentiment in the global oil market slightly improved when President Trump and his counterpart, President Xi Jinping, agreed to restart the trade talks when the two world leaders met at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Western Japan.
  • While briefing reporters, Trump revealed that even though the U.S does not plan to lift existing import tariffs, the North American country would refrain from slapping new levies on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods.
  • However, the recent drop in oil price came after Trump announced that he would impose a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese imports while further threatening to raise duties if the President of China, Xi Jinping, failed to move more quickly towards a trade deal.
  • China has also pledged to impose new “necessary countermeasures” to protect its interests after the latest tariff threat and oil price is quickly responding.

[READ: President Buhari signs N8.91 trillion 2019 budget into law]

Nigeria’s budget benchmark: The sharp drop in oil price may threaten the implementation of Nigeria’s 2019 budget. Recall that President Buhari signed the N8.83 trillion budget for the 2019 fiscal year with an assumption that oil price would remain $60.

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Office of budget

Office of budget

Essentially, the 2019 budget was benchmarked at $60 just as Brent Crude in October 2018 climbed to a record high of $86.74 per barrel. However, the recent dip in oil prices suggests that critical times are ahead.

  • That experts have called for a downward review of the budget benchmark means Nigeria would have to borrow to fund the revenue shortfall.
  • Nigeria’s debt currently stands at N24.9 trillion and analysts have predicted N30 trillion debt by the end of 2019.
  • Nairametrics also revealed that Nigeria spent a whooping N293 billion to service external debt only in half-year 2019.

[READ: Nigeria paid N293 billion to service external debt in half-year 2019]

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Another development is being mooted that oil prices could drop to as low as $20 and $30 a barrel as industry experts anticipate the U.S-China trade war to further escalates.

  • Goldman Sachs, as reported by Reuters revealed that Oil demand has disappointed in 2019 due to weaker economic activities, unfavourable weather and trade tensions.
  • Following the escalating global trade tension, a $20 to $30 oil price means Nigeria would devalue the naira.
  • The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele recently disclosed that the CBN would devalue the naira if the oil price falls to that region. This may nosedive the Nigerian economy into another recession.

[READ FURTHER: This is when I will devalue the naira – Emefiele]

 

Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 24th of October 2020, 48 new confirmed cases 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 61,930 confirmed cases.

On the 24th of October 2020, 48 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 1,372 samples across the country.

To date, 61,930 cases have been confirmed, 57,285 cases have been discharged and 1,129 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 603,611 tests have been carried out as of October 24th, 2020 compared to 602,239 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 24th October 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 61,930
  • Total Number Discharged – 57,285
  • Total Deaths – 1,1129
  • Total Tests Carried out – 603,611

According to the NCDC, The 48 new cases were reported from 6 states- Lagos (18), FCT (13), Kaduna (6), Rivers (5), Ogun (5), Ondo (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,807, followed by Abuja (5,961), Plateau (3,594), Oyo (3,423), Rivers (2,770), Edo (2,648), Kaduna (2,611), Ogun (1,995), Delta (1,812), Kano (1,741), Ondo (1,662), Enugu (1,314),  Kwara (1,067), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (948), Osun (922), Abia (898), Gombe (883).  Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).

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Imo State has recorded 614 cases, Benue (486), Nasarawa (478), Bayelsa (403),  Ekiti (329), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (164), Taraba (122), 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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#EndSARS: Governor Uzodimma approves N2bn for youth empowerment after talks with protesters 

Governor Uzodinma has approved the immediate release of N2 billion for youth empowerment.

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Ogun, Imo States give free hand sanitizers

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has approved the immediate release of N2 billion for youth empowerment, following a fruitful meeting with a group of youths associated with the #EndSARS movement in the State. 

This disclosure was made by Governor Hope Uzodinma in his statement today, during his third state Broadcast to the people of Imo State, this week. 

The Governor in his statement said that his heart is gladdened that a vast majority of the youth heeded the clarion calls to call off the #EndSARS protests, having laid down their points unmistakably. 

However, he revealed that in line with his determination to address the needs of the youth and empower them, he has approved an immediate release of a take-off fund of N2 billion for the empowerment of youth in the state. 

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He reiterated that the task is not complete until every single youth is pulled off our streets and kept a safe distance away from the reach of some unscrupulous elements whose demonic desire is to unleash endless carnage in some parts of the state. 

What you should know 

Recall that the governor on the met with a group of youths embedded in the EndSARS protests. The group was made up of youth leaders from all parts of the country comprising leaders from the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Areewa, Ohanaeze, Afenifere, Hausa, Fulani, Middle belt and Niger Delta Youths 

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However, during his interface with the youth, he assured them of a dedicated empowerment package, as part of his administration’s determination to address the needs of the youths and quell their dissatisfaction. 

  • The N2 billion take-off fund will be deployed for the training of the first batch of the beneficiaries, which will commence next week. The N2billion take-off fund is to be taken from the N6 billion earmarked for the accelerated youth empowerment programme. 
  • The empowerment programme is under the Imo State Special Youth Empowerment and Intervention Programme (IMYEIP). The State’s Ministry of Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship is directly charged with its immediate implementation. 
  • The programme is to begin training of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Batches of an estimated number of 500, 000 Imo youths in different skills acquisition programmes within the next two years, and provide them with start-up capital to begin their own enterprises. 
  •  The training time table will be rolled out on Tuesday, October 27th, 2020. 
  • The 5000 Imo Youths who have already been trained in different skills under the IMYEIP platform, are to be given their start-up capital very soon. 

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ENDSARS

Tinubu visits Sanwo-Olu, speaks on recent violence in the state, travelling out of the country

Tinubu has spoken up about some of the happenings that have led to the recent unrest in Lagos State.

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Tinubu denies advising Buhari to print new naira notes

The former Lagos State Governor and the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has reacted to the outbreak of violence during the #EndSARS protest which has led to the destruction and looting of public and private infrastructure in the state.

He lamented the invasion and wanton looting and burning of public and private assets in the state of late, including police stations.

This was made known by Tinubu during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday, October 24, 2020, at State House Marina, to commiserate with him on the recent violence in the state, sympathize with the victims through him and seek his permission to visit some of the victims.

While addressing journalists after the meeting with the governor, Tinubu said he asked him if he had ordered the attack on #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday.

He also said that he did not travel out of the country as reported by some sections of the media, who claimed that he had travelled to France and the UK.

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Tinubu said, “I didn’t go nowhere; I’m a Lagosian and I still hold the title of Asiwaju of Lagos and I am still a Jagaban. Fake news is all over the place. They say Seyi my son was kidnapped and was chased but look at him. I didn’t pay a penny to bring him here.

On the investigation and compensation for victims of violence, Tinubu said, “First, we have to segregate the calendar, those who suffered casualty before the protests from the hands of SARS. You have to separate that from those who suffered casualty due to what happened at the toll gate.

“For those who suffered casualty from SARS, the Commission of Inquiry that is already set up will unearth that and will make their recommendations. I trust the calibre and the character of the people there, they are independent. That is one.

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“Those who suffered casualty during the gunshots need to answer some questions too, how are they there? How long were they there? What kind of characters are they? Even though we want to help, we still must extract information that will help the government to prepare in future and understand how and when to react because the governor, in particular, is a youth.’’

Going further, he said, “As a youth himself, he (Sanwo-Olu) quickly went to Abuja with the 5/5. The government immediately put into action, dissolved the SARS and had to work through other recommended actions, the needs they demanded. Within a few days, he reported back to the public. That is responsive enough.

“But where are we getting the looting, the carnage, the burning, the invasion of police stations, stealing of arms, maiming of the innocent? It is a handshake beyond the elbow.

Tinubu has been under intense media attack over the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday. He was accused of being the mastermind of the incident because of his alleged interest in the tollgate which has been blocked for about 2 weeks, an allegation he has denied.

The hoodlums had burnt down some businesses allegedly linked to him in the course of the violence that erupted in Lagos. They include Oriental Hotel, Television Continental (TVC) and Nations newspaper.

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