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IMF ranks Nigeria’s economy 26th globally, biggest in Africa

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  • USA leads 10 largest world economies with $19.4tn GDP

Nigeria maintains its lead as the biggest economy in Africa, in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $442.9bn, the latest report of the International Monetary Fund has revealed.

The IMF, in its recently released World Economic Outlook, ranked Nigeria the 26th largest economy, with an average GDP of $442.976 billion.

The United States remains the biggest world economy with $19.48tn GDP; followed by China, $12.23tn; Japan, $4.87tn; Germany, $3.69tn; India, $2.65tn; United Kingdom, $2.63tn; France, $2.58tn and Brazil in 10thh position with $2.05tn GDP.

The figures were based on nominal GDP, which do not take into account differences in the cost of living in different countries.

South Africa’s GDP put at $358.839bn is the second biggest economy in Africa; Egypt has $302.256bn GDP; Algeria, $172.781bn; Morocco, $119.04bn and Kenya’s GDP is put at $99.246bn.

Nigeria’s GDP is mainly driven by abundant crude oil, finance, transport and infrastructure.

The country records around 1.6 million barrels of crude oil a day, according to OPEC, making it the largest exporter of crude oil in Africa. The petroleum exports make up 10 per cent of the total GDP and over 80 per cent of the export sector revenue.

Notwithstanding the rankings, the IMF has just returned a gloomy verdict on the Nigerian economy for 2020, noting that the outlook was challenging.

The multilateral institution, in its recently released 2020 Article IV Consultation on Nigeria, had stated that the country’s economy “is buffeted from side to side by a cocktail of issues, including the uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic, low oil prices, capital outflows and balance of payment challenges.”

The IMF stated, “The COVID-19 global pandemic is exacting a heavy toll on the Nigerian economy, which was already experiencing falling per capita income and double-digit inflation, with limited buffers and structural bottlenecks.

“Low oil prices and sharp capital outflows have significantly increased balance of payments (BOP) pressures and, together with the pandemic-related lockdown, have led to a large output contraction and increased unemployment.”

The IMF said supply shortages had pushed up headline inflation to a 30-month high.

It said, “Under current policies, the outlook is challenging. Real GDP is projected to contract by 3¼ per cent in 2020. The recovery is projected to start in 2021, with subdued growth of 1½ per cent and output recovering to its pre-pandemic level only in 2022.”

Although the IMF report acknowledged the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria to rein in inflation, it maintained that despite an expected easing of food prices, inflation would remain in double digits and above the CBN’s target range.

“Following a significant decline in revenue collections – from levels that were already among the lowest in the world – fiscal deficits are projected to remain elevated in the medium term,” the report stated.

The IMF believes there is a need to put in place more broad market reforms in order to address the pressing balance of payment pressures in Nigeria.

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Airlines to pay $3,500 per passenger for flouting COVID-19 protocols – NCAA

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THE Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued a notification to airlines stating that they will pay a penalty of $3,500 per passenger if they flout the newly revised COVID-19 provisional quarantine protocols.

Besides, the regulator said extreme violation by any carrier would lead to an outright ban.

An All Operators Letter (AOL) issued on December 3, to accountable managers and signed by the NCAA Director-General, Captain Musa Nuhu, said protocols for international flight operations and quarantine protocols for travellers arriving Nigeria issued on July 1, still subsists.

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The NCAA directed airlines to airlift passengers travelling to Nigeria, who are in possession of a paid permit to travel with a QR Code and a result of a negative COVID-19 test done not later than 48 hours from time of boarding.

The NCAA said violation of these travel directives will cost the airline $3,500 for any individual passenger or earn them a ban from flying into Nigeria.

“Non-compliance to these pre-boarding requirements by any airline will attract a penalty of $3,500 per passenger. Airlines who consistently fail to comply with these requirements may be banned from coming to Nigeria.”

The Nation

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Buhari Sacks Abuja Disco Board Over Prolonged Internal Wrangling

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Minister of State, Power, Mr. Goddy Jedy-Agba

•Sets up interim management to oversee power company

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday formally sacked the management of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), following a prolonged internal power tussle among the owners of the company which affected the welfare of the staff of the distribution company.

A statement by Ofem Uket, a Media Aide to the Minister of State, Power, Mr. Goddy Jedy-Agba, announced that a new interim governing board had been appointed to oversee the day-to-day operations of the electricity distribution company.

Although the decision had been expected long before now, the dissolution of the board was further accelerated by Monday’s industrial action embarked upon by the aggrieved staff of the company over the non-payment of arrears of pensions, allowances, salaries and promotion.

The statement indicated that the sack of the management team was conveyed by the presidency to the federal ministry of power, stressing that the new development takes immediate effect.

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In addition, it stated that the Minister of Power, Aliyu Abubakar and Agba, had earlier intervened through dialogue with the ministry of labour, Bureau of Public Enterprises, and the Nigerian union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, to resolve and call off the 14 hours strike action.

AEDC’s franchise areas include the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and parts of Edo states.

The industrial action by the workers on Monday, had left the affected areas in total blackout between 7 am in the morning to about 8 pm as a result of the strike action.

“The presidential directive as conveyed has also directed the BPE to set up a new management team for the AEDC,” the statement revealed.

Furthermore, the statement noted that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), had earlier been jointly signed by Jedy-Agba; the Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Sanusi Garba; the Director General, BPE, Alex Okoh; as well as Joe Ajaero on behalf of the union, for the suspension of the strike.

“And they have been given 21 days within which the outstanding emoluments and entitlements of staff will be paid,” the statement noted.

It further noted that government, “has described the non-performance and incompetence of the AEDC as a national embarrassment,” saying the suspension of the management team will subsist until further notice.

“At the end of the expansive consultation between the leadership of NUEE and relevant government institutions in the power sector over the industrial action government intervened with the firm arrangement to ensure the payment of the outstanding entitlements of AEDC staff within 21 days counting from the date of the signing of the MoU.

The tussle relating to the board of KANN Utility Company Limited, owners of AEDC had raged for years as the shareholders had continued to differ on decisions and appointments to the board and the management.

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The matter got to a head last year when some investors in the AEDC purportedly announced changes to the governing board of Disco.

At the time CEC Africa Limited (CECA), one of the parties in the matter, had said the board of KANN Utility Company Limited had announced the withdrawal of their nominations to the board of AEDC and their replacement with new nominees.

It had said that the board of KANN proposed the following new directors: Mr. Joe (Joseph) Makoju , Mallam Ibrahim Aliyu, Dr. Olubunmi Peters, Dr. George Nwangwu, and Mr. Faruk Aliyu.

“The board of AEDC has since resolved to accept both the withdrawals and the new appointments,” it said.

But Chairman of the dissolved board of AEDC and KANN, Shehu Malami in a reaction, said the alleged change in the management of the Disco was false.

”For the records the board of AEDC is the only authorised body that can appoint or remove its directors, and has made no such decision in recent time,” he said at the time.

Thisday

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Flying Doctors introduce catalyst fund for tech startups

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Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company has unveiled a catalyst fund to support health tech and fintech startups.

Catalyst funds are used to support inclusive tech innovators in emerging markets — especially micro and small firms.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the company said the initiative tagged ‘FDHIC Catalyst Fund’, would tackle Africa’s healthcare and finance challenges.
Citing the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the FDHIC noted that only a few countries in Africa spend between $34 and $40 a year per person on healthcare as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
This, it said, has led to very high infant and maternal mortality rates across Africa.
The company said solving these challenges requires a holistic approach to drive financial inclusion through private sector investments.
“Through the new Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company (FDHIC) Catalyst Fund, we are building an investor collective that will tackle Africa’s healthcare and financial inclusion challenges by backing technology-enabled healthtech and fintech startups in the early or growth stage,” the statement reads.
“Our Catalyst Fund offers corporate bodies and individuals, anywhere in the world, an opportunity to invest in, and get returns from, Africa-based HealthTech and FinTech Investments combined with the satisfaction of making sustainable impacts in underserved communities.
“We provide qualified investors – who are a part of our investors collective — with vetted investment opportunities in the Fintech and HealthTech space.
“The FDHIC Catalyst Fund will channel its investments through deal-specific syndicate investment vehicles domiciled in the USA.”
Assuring prospective investors of its expertise, FDHIC said its founder and management team have deep sector expertise in healthcare and finance from years of work and study.
“At FDHIC CF, we will bring to bear our investment analysis and portfolio management experience,” the statement added.
The company also pointed out that it has investments in companies like Mdaas Global, Helium health, Chisco express, Lifestores Pharmacy & Sygen.

FDHIC said it decided to democratise the membership of the catalyst fund to break away from the conventional.
“We want to give time-strapped executives and mid-level professionals the opportunity to get high-value returns without facing the attendant rigours of managing a full-time business,” the statement said.
It added that individuals and corporate entities can subscribe to membership of FDIHC’s investors collective, in preparation for deal sourcing, evaluation, and eventual investment

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