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Business News

Nigerians spend $9.01 billion on foreign travels in 2019 

PTA on foreign trips by Nigerians rose from $5.59 billion between January and September 2018, to $9.01 billion in the same period of 2019.

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Nigerians spend $9.01 billion on foreign travels in 2019 

Nigeria’s current account balance continues to be a source of concern as data published by the Central Bank shows that Nigeria spent a whopping $9.01 billion (N3.24 trillion) on personal foreign travels (also known as Personal Travel Allowances, PTA) in 9 months (January – September 2019).

According to the CBN report, PTA on foreign trips by Nigerians rose from $5.59 billion between January and September 2018, to $9.01 billion in the same period of 2019. This means PTA rose by a high 61.08% in one year.  

Also, the CBN report shows that Nigeria’s current account balance continues to balloon into deficits no thanks to the services sector huge foreign exchange demand driven by travel and business services. See: Nigeria’s current account deficit rises again 

Educational travel expense tops the chart  

In the period under review, data showed that PTA on foreign travels by Nigerians is mainly on education, health, and other personal travel expenses.  

  • Unsurprisingly, education tops the chart as Nigeria spent a whopping $4.55 billion on education travel expenses between January and September 2019. This means Nigerians continue to rely heavily on foreign education and medical tourism despite efforts by the government to curb imports.  
  • Medical tourism gulped a total sum of $1.92 billion within the period.  
  • Personal travel expenses, which are largely vacation-related expenses gulped $2.53 billion.  
  • Overall Education gulped 50.5% of total expenses on personal travels, other personal travels (28%) and Medical tourism (21.3%).  

PTA gulps $58.7 billion in 10 years  

A further check in to CBN published data showed some very worrying trends, as foreign travel expenses continue to drive Nigeria’s current account balance into negative. For instance, in the last 10 years (2010– 2019), Nigeria spent an astonishing $58.7 billion on PTA.  

[READ ALSO: National Assembly to amend AMCON Act to accelerate recoveries]

  • Analysis of current account balances for the last 10 years showed that travel expenses gulped 88.5% of Nigeria’s current account deficit.  
  • A further check reveals that in the third quarter of 2010, Nigeria spent the sum of $1.63 billion on PTA. Fast forward to the corresponding period of 2019, the figure rose $2.99 billion.
  • Within the period, expense on education travel took the biggest share, constituting 44% of the total PTA. 
  • Overall, education travel gulped $26.3 billion in just 10 years, other travel expenses gulped $16.7 billion, while $10.13 billion was spent on medical travel expenses.  

 Why it matters: With over 200 million population, Nigeria’s economy is still plagued with perennial problems such as poor health sector, decay in the educational sector, low level of infrastructure, the high unemployment rate among others. Key investments into critical sectors in the country continue to be elusive often due to poor incentives and ease of doing business. 

[READ ALSO: National Assembly to amend AMCON Act to accelerate recoveries]

  • Following the bad state of infrastructures in the country, Nigerians who can afford the luxury to travel seek for foreign education or better quality healthcare abroad squeezing out forex from our reserves. 
  • The CBN report implies that the majority of Nigerians travel abroad for schooling or reasons like work, tourismaccess to better medical facilities and so on.
  • Recent data released by Canada Immigration shows that Nigeria ranked 8th with the highest number of permanent residents admitted to Canada in 2017.
  • This means on a month-to-month basis, Nigerians travel of countries, Canada, the U.K, the U.S, India and a host of many other countries. While the number keeps increasing, the demand for foreign exchange surges 
  • Nigerians also travel to the United States to have Children mostly due to high infant mortality rates in the country. This also requires significant forex for personal travels.

As Nigerians permanently leave the country to enjoy better infrastructures and basic amenities that could have been provided in the country, they sometimes sell nearly all their property and belongings and then converting the proceeds into forex before traveling. This continues to pile pressure on the country’s depleting forex reserves dragging the economy down.  

 [READ: Nigeria’s Foreign Trade hits N9.18 trillion in Q3, as non-oil export rose by 374.5%]

 

 

 

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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 7th of March 2021, 269 new confirmed cases and 5 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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Covid 19 update symptops

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 158,506 confirmed cases.

On the 7th of March 2021, 269 new confirmed cases and 5 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 158,506 cases have been confirmed, 137,875 cases have been discharged and 1,969 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

A total of 1.54 million tests have been carried out as of March 7th, 2021 compared to 1.49 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 7th March 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 158,506
  • Total Number Discharged – 137,890
  • Total Deaths – 1,969
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,544,008

According to the NCDC, the 269 new cases are reported from 19 states- Enugu (78), Bauchi (37), Rivers (22), Imo (18), Ogun (16), FCT (15), Akwa Ibom (13), Kaduna (13), Kebbi (11), Kwara (9), Edo(7), Ekiti (6), Borno (5), Yobe(5), Kano (4) Nasarawa (3), Osun (3), Anambra (2) and Plateau (2).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 56,444, followed by Abuja (19,350), Plateau (8,944), Kaduna (8,658),  Oyo (6,766), Rivers (6,680), Edo (4,670), Ogun (4,437), Kano (3,844), Ondo (3,066), Kwara (2,962), Delta (2,582), Osun (2,457), Nasarawa (2,251), Enugu (2,156), Katsina (2,060), Gombe (2,010), Ebonyi (1,951), Anambra (1,813), Akwa Ibom (1,610), and Abia (1,588).

Imo State has recorded 1,569 cases, Borno (1,308), Bauchi (1,274), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (942), Niger (919), Taraba (863), Ekiti (834), Bayelsa (779), Sokoto (769), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (412), Cross River (334), Yobe (293), Zamfara (222), 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.

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.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.

Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.

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On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.

On 28th February 2021, the federal government confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021.

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On Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, the National Primary health Care Development Agency announced the arrival of the expected COVX Astrazeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccines.

On Saturday, 6th March 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo received vaccination against the covid-19 as the State House in Abuja.

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

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Tech News

Twitter CEO auctions his first-ever tweet on Twitter, bidding at $2.5 million

Jack Dorsey is auctioning his first-ever tweet on a website that sells tweets as non-fungible tokens.

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Square buys $50 million worth of Bitcoins, Twitter warns political figures to abstain from fake, misleading statements, Has Twitter's Jack Dorsey changed the popular narrative attached to Nigerians?, Twitter forecasts future drop in revenue after milestone record in 2019 Q4 , Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey invest N2.3 million in Nigerian startup, DevCareer , Some Verified accounts may not be able to tweet, as Twitter freezes password reset to address cyberattack

Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey is auctioning his first-ever tweet on Twitter “just setting up my twttr” on a website that sells tweets as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The tweet was listed for sale on ‘Valuables by Cent’ – a tweets marketplace that was launched three months ago. The tweet was first made in March 2006

The tweet received offers as high as $88,888.88 within minutes of Jack tweeting a link to the listing on” Valuables by Cent” on Friday.

Currently, bidding has reached $2.5 million (€2.1 million) indicating the potential in selling virtual objects that have been authenticated through blockchain technology.

The highest bid for the tweet — $2.5 million — came from Bridge Oracle CEO Sina Estavi. It topped cryptocurrency pioneer, Justin Sun’s $2 million bid.

The final buyer of the tweet will receive a certificate, digitally signed and verified by Jack Dorsey, as well as the metadata of the original tweet. The data will include information such as the time the tweet was posted and its text contents. Most of this information, however, is already publicly available.

According to Valuables by Cent’s terms, 95% of a tweet’s sale will go to the original creator while the remainder will go to the website.

What you should know

  • NFTs is a unique digital certificate that states who owns a photo, video, or other forms of online media.
  • Dorsey’s 15-year-old tweet is one of the most famous tweets ever on the platform.
  • Bidding had reached $2.5 million (€2.1 million) on Saturday, indicating the potential in selling virtual objects that have been authenticated through blockchain technology.
  • More people are currently bidding their tweets on the platform.

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