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Business

IMF board raises medium term target for precautionary reserves

The IMF”s executive board has agreed to raise the precautionary reserves, citing increased credit risk exposures.

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IMF discloses immediate priority , Reduce funding oil subsidy - IMF to Nigeria , IMF: 40% of African countries can't pay back their debts , Nigeria among countries that pushed Global debt to $188 trillion - IMF , Coronavirus: World Bank, IMF to support Nigeria and other member countries affected, IMF, World Bank to hold meetings via conference call over Coronavirus epidemic, IMF advises banks to suspend dividend payment

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to raise the medium-term target for the fund’s precautionary reserves, citing increased credit exposure risks and sharp increase in financial risks since 2018.

READ: COVID-19: IMF Chief predicts $345 billion financing gap in African countries 

According to a statement issued by IMF

  • “The fund’s 24 executive directors increased the target to Special Drawing Rights 25 billion, or around $36 billion, from SDR 20 billion, or $29 billion, after a regular biannual review conducted at the end of October.
  • “The review, delayed by a few months to permit a+-n assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, showed a significant increase in the fund’s credit exposure and related risk since the last review in 2018, compounded by the pandemic.
  • “Credit outstanding has nearly doubled, including a surge in emergency financing without conditionality, and commitments under precautionary arrangements are higher than at the last review.
  • Credit has become more concentrated and scheduled repurchases were larger and more bunched. The current target for precautionary balances of SDR 20 billion was also likely to drop below the indicative range this fiscal year and next.
  • “Given these developments, directors agreed to keep the minimum floor for precautionary balances – which include general and special reserves and a special contingent account – at SDR 15 billion and raise the medium-term target to SDR 25 billion, while continuing to monitor the situation carefully.”

READ: Corruption erodes the constituency for aid programmes and humanitarian relief – IMF

What you should know

  • The Special Drawing Right (SDR) was created as a supplementary international reserve asset in the context of the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system.
  • SDR allocations play a key role in providing liquidity and supplementing member countries’ official reserves, as was the case amid the global financial crisis.
  • The SDR serves as the unit of account of the IMF and some other international organizations.
  • The SDR is neither a currency nor a claim on the IMF. Rather, it is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members.
  • The SDR basket is reviewed every five years or earlier if warranted, to ensure that the basket reflects the relative importance of currencies in the world’s trading and financial systems.
  • The reviews cover the key elements of the SDR method of valuation, including criteria and indicators used in selecting SDR basket currencies and the initial currency weights used in determining the amounts (number of units) of each currency in the SDR basket.
  • These currency amounts remain fixed over the five-year SDR valuation period but the actual weights of currencies in the basket fluctuate as cross-exchange rates among the basket currencies move.
  • The value of the SDR is determined daily based on market exchange rates. The reviews are also used to assess the appropriateness of the financial instruments comprising the SDR interest rate (SDRi) basket.

Johnson is a risk management professional and banker with unbridled passion for research and writing. He graduated top of the class with B.sc Statistics from the University of Nigeria and an MBA degree with specialization in Finance from Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, with fellowships from the Association of Enterprise Risk management Professionals(FERP) and Institute of Credit and Collections management of Nigeria (FICCM). He is currently pursuing his PhD in Risk management in one of the top-rated universities in the UK.

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    January 9, 2021 at 6:38 pm

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Business

Lagos reviews building permit approvals and processing time

The Lagos State Government has promised to review planning permit processing time and reduce the lay-out approval process.

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Lagos issues ultimatum to Tank Farm Operators over planning permit, Lagos seals 27 residential and commercial buildings in Lekki, LASG Seals 19 more Buildings in Banana Island over planning permit

The Lagos State Government has promised to review planning permit processing time from 28 to 18 days and reduce the lay-out approval process from 90 to 30 days.

This is part of measures employed by the state to re-engineer their operating procedures to meet the 21st-century demands of the Lagos Megacity.

According to a statement from the Assistant Director of the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mukaila Sanusi, this was contained in a communiqué adopted from resolutions of an annual retreat of the ministry and its agencies.

What the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development is saying

Sanusi in a statement, said, “Highlights of the forward-looking resolutions include the reduction of Planning Permit processing time from 28 to 18 days, reduction of lay-out approval process from 90 to 30 days and the adoption of one stage approval for layout instead of the existing two stages.’’

He pointed out that the staff agreed that the ministry and its agencies should step up their efforts toward realizing their mandates, especially in relation to the 21st century Lagos Economic goal.

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He said, “They resolved to enhance synergy between and among the agencies, particularly the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA).’’

According to the statement, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako, was quoted as saying the resolutions were capable of delivering many advantages.

Some of the benefits of the re-engineered process

Salako listed the benefits to include;

  • Improved revenue,
  • Enhanced service delivery,
  • Reduction of bottlenecks in Planning Permit and Layout approvals,
  • Drastic reduction in illegal building construction,
  • Seamless attainment of an orderly and sustainable environment.

He urged the workforce to fulfil the content of the communiqué with a renewed commitment to providing needed solutions to the challenges in the system.

What this means

The implementation of the resolutions reached at the annual retreat of the ministry and its agencies will ensure that developers apply and process building permits easier, faster and less cumbersome.

It will also eliminate the delays and bottlenecks experienced at state government agencies and reduce the spate of illegal and unapproved buildings.

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Business

Remittance flows to sub-Saharan Africa to dip to $41 billion in 2021- Report

Remittance flows to sub-Saharan Africa are likely to decline by 6.8% to $41 billion in 2021 as against $44 billion achieved in 2020.

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Remittance flows to sub-Saharan Africa have been projected to decline by 6.8% to $41 billion in 2021, from $44 billion achieved in 2020.

This was disclosed in the Foresight Africa 2021 report, a publication of African Growth Initiatives of the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions.

READ: Daystar Power secures $38m funding to grow its West African’ operations

According to the report:

  • “The pandemic has significantly dampened new migration flows worldwide due to widespread travel restrictions, fear of the virus, and weak job prospects. In many host countries, employment levels for foreign workers have fallen, invariably more so than for native-born workers.
  • “A significant number of unemployed migrant workers are returning to their countries of origin, which are now facing the challenge of accommodating hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of returnees, including through the provision of health care, housing, jobs, and financial support.
  • “In the long run, migration flows from Africa are expected to increase significantly, driven by income gaps, the rapidly growing working-age population, and climate change.
  • “Notably, the average income in high-income OECD countries is over 50 times the average income in low-income countries. At recent (pre-COVID-19) growth rates, it would take over a hundred years to close that gap; the pandemic is likely to worsen it.”

READ: Tax expert asks low-income earners to engage employers on FG’s income tax exemption

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What you should know

  • The cost of sending money appears to be quite high and might need to be reduced. For example, the fees paid to remittance service providers to send money to Africa average nearly 9% – the highest rate in the world and three times the Sustainable Development Goal target for remittance costs of 3%.
  • Also, most of the popular digital platforms during the crisis have had their fees reviewed upward in recent months.
  • No doubt, a decision to lower the burden of sending remittances would maximize remittance inflows which are important sources of financing for development in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • It is important that the policymakers work assiduously to make sure remittance service providers do not face difficulties in partnering with correspondent banks via strategic collaborations with post offices, micro-finance banks and other financial institutions, Telcos, etc. to remove entry barriers and increase competition in the remittance markets
  • It is suggested that the global community should consider creating a non-profit remittance platform to provide a one-stop solution to keep remittances flowing and leverage them for development financing for the benefit of millions of poor people in Africa and the rest of the world.

READ: Output of Sub-Saharan Africa dipped by 3.7% in 2020 due to COVID-19 – World Bank

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Business

One killed, 15 kidnapped by pirates on Turkish ship off Gulf of Guinea

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shipping tariffs, Nigeria

A Turkish ship was attacked off Nigeria’s Gulf of Guinea coast, killing an Azerbaijani citizen, and kidnapping 15 sailors, with reports stating the attack, happened way offshore compared to other attacks.

This was disclosed in a report by Reuters on Sunday, as the attack happened on Saturday and has been confirmed by the Turkish government.

The Liberian-flagged vessel was headed to Cape Town from Lagos when it was attacked 160 kilometers (100 miles) off Sao Tome island on Saturday, maritime reports showed.

READ: FG to launch policy to prevent smuggling of mineral resources

The ship which was Liberian Flagged was on its way to Cape Town from Lagos, was attacked 160 kilometers off Sao Tome, crew members added that the attack was well planned as the pirates stormed the Ship’s protective citadel.

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The Gabonese government has confirmed the Ship has reached its waters as 3 Sailors remain on the ship, Mozart,

“The ship is in our waters and our sailors are assisting a few nautical miles from Port Gentil,” Gabon’s presidency spokesman Jessye Ella Ekogha, said.

READ: Blockchain technology expected to tackle Africa’s challenges across industries

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s office said Erdogan spoke with the fourth captain of the ship, Furkan Yaren, and assured them that he will “rescue of kidnapped ship personnel”.

 Furkan Yaren, disclosed that the Ship had been “cruising blindly” towards Gabon as Pirates damaged most of the ship’s controls leaving only radar working.

 Nigerian Navy commander, Edward Yeibo, revealed that Nigeria was not aware of the attack as to when it happened but would seek more details about it.

READ: Fish production, demand, piracy and the required strategies to boost supply

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported that West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea recorded an unprecedented increase in piracy attacks in 2020, according to the International Maritime Bureau in its 2020 Annual Piracy report.
  • The IMB reported that 135 crew members were kidnapped from their vessels in 2020, with the Gulf of Guinea accounting for over 95% kidnapped. A record of 130 crew members was kidnapped in 22 separate incidents.
  • The FG launched the $195 million Deep Blue Project which is a NIMASA initiative aimed at the prevention of illegal activities in the maritime domain. Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi stated that all equipment needed for the Deep Blue Project will be ready by March 2021.
  • Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, has called for military intervention in the piracy problem in the Gulf of Guinea, which has made the gulf the new global headquarters for piracy.

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