The World Bank has warned that Nigeria may fall back into recession, highlighting conditions that may drag the nation’s economy into the downturn witnessed in 2016.
The bank stated in its latest Nigeria’s Economic Update, that a decline in oil prices to the levels seen in 2016 would significantly reduce growth, potentially leading to another recession in Nigeria.
More fragile economy
Similarly, the World Bank has stated that the Nigerian economy is more fragile than it was in 2016. According to the bank, this time around, Nigeria’s fiscal and external positions are more fragile because the fiscal buffers in the excess crude account are depleted, and international reserves mask considerable amounts of foreign-held short-term government and central bank securities.
It was also stated that in this context, a negative shift in investor confidence could lead to a drop in international reserves and put pressure on the exchange rate and the public debt stock.
Meanwhile, the World Bank stated that Nigeria’s growth could be accelerated through reforms that boost tax revenues to allow for higher investment in human and physical capital, as well as efforts to improve the quality of spending and reduce barriers to trade and private sector development. For example, gradually eliminating the use of monetary policies that crowd out credit to the private sector would accelerate growth.
Growing population and unemployment
On the other hand, the World Bank stated that the 2016 recession spurred a rise in unemployment in Nigeria, but stated that some states had recently begun creating enough jobs to keep pace with their growing labour force.
“In 2018, Nigeria created about 450,000 new (net) jobs, partially offsetting the loss of 700,000 jobs in the previous year. However, Nigeria’s labour force is growing rapidly.
“In 2018, about 5 million Nigerians entered the labour market, resulting in an additional 4.9 million unemployed people in the last year. However, the positive news is emerging from a subset of states that are now creating more jobs than the entrants to the labour market.
“In 2017, none of the 36 states in Nigeria and its Federal Capital Territory created enough jobs to absorb new labour market entrants. The situation improved in 2018, with four states—Lagos, Rivers, Enugu, and Ondo—generating more jobs than labour-market entrants, leading to a decline in unemployment in these states.”
25% of world’s poor people to be from Nigeria
With population growth estimated at 2.6% outpacing economic growth in a context of weak job creation, the World Bank disclosed that per capita incomes are falling.
- The World Bank stated that an estimated 100 million Nigerians live on less than US$1.90 per day. Close to 80% of poor household is in Northern Nigeria while employment creation and income gains have been concentrated in central and southern Nigeria. The “cost of inaction” is significant.
- Under a business-as-usual scenario, where Nigeria maintains the current pace of growth and employment levels, by 2030 the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty could increase by more than 30 million, and Nigeria could account for 25% of world’s extremely poor population.
- Building reform momentum is essential to mitigate risks and promote faster, more inclusive, and sustainable growth that improves living standards and reduces poverty.
The Bank noted that the vulnerability of Nigeria’s economy to oil prices has also inhibited sustained productivity gains: labour has repeatedly shifted from agriculture to services when oil prices were high, then shifted back when oil prices were low, thereby limiting the economic transformation that is needed to produce more and better-paid jobs.
Buhari reappoints Bala Usman as MD of NPA, reconstitutes the Board
President Buhari has approved the reappointment of Hadiza Bala Usman as the MD of the NPA for another term of 5 years.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reappointment of Hadiza Bala Usman as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for another term of 5 years.
This follows the expected expiration of the tenure of Usman, who was first appointed as the Managing Director on July 12, 2016.
This disclosure is contained in a series of tweet posts which was issued by the Presidency on its official Twitter handle on Thursday. January 21, 2021.
The Presidency in its statement also announced the approval of the reconstitution of the Non-Executive Board of the NPA, with Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye (representing South-West zone) as Chairman.
The statement from the Presidency partly reads, ‘’President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the re-appointment of Hadiza Bala Usman as Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), for an additional five-year tenure.
‘’Also approved is the reconstitution of the Non-Executive Board of the NPA, with Emmanuel Adesoye (from South-west zone) as Chairman.’’
Other members of the reconstituted Board include Ekenyem Nwafor-Orizu (representing South-east zone), Akinwunmi Ricketts (representing South-south zone), Ghazali Mijinyawa (representing North-East zone), Mustapha Dutse (representing North-West zone), and Abdulwahab Adesina (representing North-Central zone).
What you should know
- Hadiza Bala Usman was born on January 2, 1976, in Zaria, Kaduna State and has a B.Sc. Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and a Post Graduate in Development Studies from University of Leeds, the UK in 2009.
- She worked at the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) from July 2000 to August 2004 as Enterprise Officer and hired by the UNDP for the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) from October 2004 to January 2008 as Special Assistant to the Minister on Project Implementation.
- Ms Bala Usman worked, between 2011 and 2015) as Director of Strategy of the Good Governance Group, a non-governmental organisation founded by Kaduna State State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and his friends.
- Ms Bala Usman, one of the founders and conveners of #BringBackOurGirls, a campaign group pushing for the rescue of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, was also a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Anti-Corruption.
- Prior to her appointment as the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, she was the Chief of Staff to Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, apposition she was appointed to in 2015.
Also approved is reconstitution of the Non-Executive Board of the NPA, with Mr Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye (South-west zone) as Chairman.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) January 21, 2021
Covid-19: Africa records higher death rate than the global rate
Africa’s coronavirus death rate is now higher than the global average according to Africa CDC.
Africa’s coronavirus death rate has been reported to be higher than the global average as the continent struggle with a shortage of oxygen and other resources during this second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The continent’s fatality rate currently stands at 2.5%, which is higher than the global rate of 2.2%, a departure from earlier in the pandemic, when the death rate in Africa was lower than that at the global level.
According to a report from Reuters, this disclosure was made by the Director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), John Nkengasong, on Thursday, January 21, 2021, during a press conference.
While describing the trend as alarming experts, the continent’s CDC boss pointed out that earlier in the pandemic, Africa’s death rate had been below the global average.
He said, “The case fatality rate is beginning to be very worrying and concerning for all of us.’’
Nkengasong also said that 21 African countries are now recording Covid-19 death rate of above 3% as the number of countries in the continent with a higher fatality rate than the global average continues to grow.
Some of the countries include Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Mali, Sudan and a host of others.
What you should know
- Africa has so far recorded 3.3 million cases of the coronavirus infections with 82,000 fatalities as at Thursday.
- These figures represent a small fraction of the global total, but cases have been reported to have increased by 14% each week in the last 1 month.
- According to data from Africa CDC, over the past week, cases decreased by nearly 7% compared to the previous week while deaths increased by 10%.
- The continent reported 207,000 new cases in the past week, with South Africa alone reporting 100,000 of those new cases.
Ex-Real Madrid Striker, David Barral becomes first-ever footballer to be bought with Bitcoin
Former Real Madrid Striker, David Barral has become the first-ever footballer to be bought with Bitcoin.
Former Real Madrid striker, David Barral, makes transfer history as he became the first-ever professional player to be bought solely with virtual currency, Bitcoin.
Spanish third division side, DUX Internacional de Madrid, simply known as Inter Madrid, has officially signed the 37-year-old after teaming up with their new sponsors, Criptan that deals in cryptocurrency, The SUN reports.
Inter Madrid who are part of DUX gaming, eSports club owned by footballers Borja Iglesias and Real Madrid star, Thibaut Courtois, is yet to disclose the total value of the deal.
The Segunda Division B club went to Twitter to welcome their new signing and thank their sponsor.
“David Barral new player of DUX Internacional de Madrid, welcome to the infinite club! He becomes the first signing in history in cryptocurrencies. Thanks to Criptan, our new sponsor, for making it possible,” the club tweeted.
The 37-year-old, who made over 50 appearances playing in the Real Madrid reserve side, expressed his delight at his latest move. Barral has also played for Spanish La Liga clubs Sporting Gijon, Levante, and Racing Santander.
“Glad to join the project of @interdemadrid with eager ambition and responsibility to continue competing and achieve important challenges in my sports career,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.
What you should know
- A similar deal was when a Harunustaspor, Turkish amateur side, paid 0.0524 Bitcoin (£385) plus 2,500 Turkish Lira in cash (£841) for Omer Faruk Kıroğlu in 2018.
- Back in December, Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung became the first high-profile athlete in the United States to be paid in bitcoin.
- Similarly, the Mark Cuban-owned Dallas Mavericks became the second NBA franchise to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment for both game tickets and merchandise.