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Business News

#EndSARS: IMF Links protests to economic difficulties

IMF reiterated that the protest in the country is not just against police brutality, but also unemployment and poverty.

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Border Closure: IMF lauds Nigeria's move to curb illegal trade , IMF Links the #EndSARS protests to economic difficulties

The African Department of the International Monetary Fund has attributed the civil unrest in Nigeria, spiked by the peaceful #EndSARS protest to the vulnerable state of the Nigerian economy.

This statement was made by the Board of the African Department of International Monetary Fund, during the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Regional Economic Outlook briefing, which was monitored by Nairametrics yesterday.

Optics

The Board blamed the civil unrest and the social instability in the Nation on the economic difficulties in the country as well as Nigeria’s economy low growth prospect. IMF reiterated that the protest in the country is not just against police brutality, but also unemployment, poverty.

The Department explained that the difficult event that followed since the wake of the decline in oil prices in 2015-16 in Nigeria, has made economic prospects low in the country, and this dislocation has exerted pressure on standards of living, which fueled the protest.

(READ MORE: NCC creates digital economy department to harness technology in Nigeria)

What they are saying

Mr. Abebe Amero Selassie, the Director of the African Department of IMF in his statement said; “where you have these kinds of economic difficulties, you know, social protests are not uncommon”.

He advised thus: “It is critical for the nation to get policy-induced barriers out of the way to facilitate stronger economic growth. The government needs to do more to raise revenues through the area of non-oil resources to be able to invest in health education which would, you know, allow people to be more successful at getting jobs but also improve the economy’s potential. So, I think that the development agenda that Nigeria has, I think, has to be tackled with gusto and vigour so that the millions of jobs that the country needs can be created.”

Other issues discussed

While speaking on the support the IMF gave Nigeria earlier this year, Mr. Selassie said: “The support is to help cushion the awful effects that the pandemic and the economic crisis that has unfolded has had on Nigeria. The important need for the government is to spend the resources on health, education, and other important areas at a difficult time like this. I think the government is committed to provide us with an explanation of what the resources have been used for and you know, audits of how that was used in due course. And we look forward to that in the coming months.

(READ MORE: IMF assessing additional tools to provide aid to pandemic-hit countries)

What to expect

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On growth projections, the IMF emphasized that although the protests happened after the fund had closed its projections for the year, the board explained that changes will depend really on how the protests evolve.

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Hence, if the protests persist with significant effects on the economy and macroeconomic data, changes would be internalized in due course.

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Omokolade Ajayi is a graduate of Economics, and a certificate holder of the CFA Institute’s Investment Foundation Program. He is a business analyst, and equity market researcher, with wealth of experience as a retail investor. He is a business owner and a stern advocate of Financial literacy, who believes in the huge economic prospect of the Nigerian Payment channels and Fintech space.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Governors to discuss distribution of vaccines today

Governors of the 36 states of the federation will today meet to discuss the sharing formula for the recently delivered Covid-19 vaccine.

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Oil Price Crash: Governors to meet on budgetary and economic issues

The Nigerian Governors Forum has announced that all 36 Governors will meet today to discuss the distribution of the recently arrived 3.9 million Covid-19 vaccines through the COVAX programme.

This was disclosed by the NGF in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the Head, Media and Public Affairs of the NGF Secretariat.

The NGF disclosed that the meeting, which would be held virtually, will commence by 5 pm.

“The meeting is of a single-item agenda, which will discuss the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines and their distribution in the country,” he said.

READ: More Nigerians don’t trust government, fear losing jobs more than COVID-19 – Report

What you should know

  • Nairametrics reported on Monday that 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.
  • The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) also released guidelines on registering for Covid-19 vaccination in Nigeria.

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Business

Royal Academy of Engineering invests over £3.5 million in Nigeria, others

The academy has awarded over £3.5 million in 37 projects in Nigeria and across 13 African countries.

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The Royal Academy of Engineering has awarded over £3.5 million to 37 projects in Nigeria and across 13 African countries to promote better training and sustainability and diversify economies.

This was disclosed by the Academy via a statement issued and seen by Nairametrics on Thursday to mark the UNESCO World Engineering Day 2021.

It stated that the Academy’s interest in partnering with partner academic institutions’ projects focused on realizing sustainable development goals.

One of such projects, according to the statement, is the renewable energy project recently embarked on by Engineering students in the University of Abuja, Nigeria.

It stated, “A new awardee of the HEPSSA programme, the University of Abuja, in a project titled “Renewable energy utilization: Accelerating diffusion of solar power systems”, seeks to address the problem of access to affordable and clean energy with a view to enable accelerated diffusion solar power systems.”

Commenting on the progress achieved in Africa, Nigerian born Engineer in the UK, Yewande Akinola MBE, who is also a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering GCRF Africa Catalyst Committee, said:

“While we see immediate improvements in skills and innovation through these programmes, the real win is establishing a framework for lasting change. This will equip communities in Africa to anticipate and plan for the challenges posed by climate change, urbanisation and economic development. The continent is transforming rapidly, and those engineering its future need the skills to think on their feet.”

Stressing the need for strategic partnerships and buy-in of stakeholders, she said, “By developing strong alliances between local partners in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK, we can enable learning, collaboration and sharing of best practice, which in turn will build skills to boost innovation. But there is much more to be done, which needs the continued support of investors and partners.”

She added that the Academy aimed to support the development of a diverse and future fit workforce across the continent.

“It is estimated that fewer than 10% of engineering posts in Africa are currently occupied by women. GCRF Africa Catalyst has worked with Women in Engineering (WomEng) to promote gender diversity across a wide spectrum of professional experience.

“WomEng’s work with Eswatini’s Registration Council for Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Allied Professionals has resulted in seven registered female members where they initially had none. A HEP SSA project with the Institute of Engineers Rwanda also helped to increase the number of female internship applicants from 5% to 2018 to 25% in 2019,” she said.

Highlights of achievements of the Africa grants:

  • Over 2000 professionals trained by Professional Engineering Institutions across sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Over 530 student industry placements since 2013. Number of students obtaining industry internships increased from 40% to 90% over the course of one project in Zambia
  • Diversity & Inclusion initiatives have driven equal gender participation in programmes. A project from the Institute of Engineers Rwanda helped to increase the number of female internship applicants from 5% in 2018 to 25% in 2019.
  • 50 individual course curricula reviewed and improved as a result of industry-academia partnerships.
  • Almost 50 UK organisations and 400 in-country bodies involved as project partners so far.

What you should know

  • Launched in 2016, with support from the UK government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the Africa Catalyst initiative allows Engineers to focus on issues of specific importance to their relevant jurisdictions while facilitating good governance practices.
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering is showcasing its impact on enhancing collaboration, education, and diversity in engineering in sub-Saharan Africa, delivered through its Africa grants programmes ahead of the second UNESCO World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development on the 4th of March 2021.

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