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Nigeria’s external reserves hit $36.23bn on increased oil price

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The Central Bank of Nigeria says the nation’s foreign exchange reserves rose to $36.23 billion as of January 21, 2021 from the $34.94 billion in November 2020.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said that improvement in crude oil prices contributed to the increase.

Emefiele spoke at the January Monetary Policy Committee meeting of the bank, which began on Tuesday.

He said, “The MPC noted the increase in the level of external reserves, which stood at $36.23 billion as at 21st January, 2021 compared with $34.94 billion at the end of November 2020.

“This reflected improvements in crude oil prices, partial global economic recovery amid optimism over the discovery and distributions of COVID-19 vaccines by most developed economies.”

He also noted the Nigerian economy and the global economy had continued, to show prospect for recovery from the effects of COVID-19.

Emefiele expressed optimism of improved economic growth in Nigeria in the first quarter of 2021.

He said, “The medium-term outlook for both the domestic and global economies continued to show improved prospects of recovery.

“This is supported by the recent moderate uptick in crude prices and increased optimism over the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Available data and forecasts for key macroeconomic variables for the Nigerian economy suggest further improvement in output growth in the first quarter of 2021.

“This would be supported by the coordinated and sustained interventions of the monetary and fiscal authorities, including the broad-based stimulus and liquidity injections.”

The CBN governor urged the Federal Government to take more urgent steps to tackle the challenge of insecurity so as to curb inflation, adding that insecurity also posed a threat to food security.

Emefiele said, “MPC members reiterated the adverse impact of insecurity on food production, stressing that the current uptick in inflationary pressure could not be solely associated to monetary factors.

“They are due mainly to legacy structural factors including major supply bottlenecks across the country.

“The committee, thus called on government to redouble efforts at strengthening infrastructural efficiency and address the emerging security challenges in the country.

“In addition to this, the committee called on the government to explore the option of effective partnership with the private sector to improve funding sources necessary to address the huge infrastructural financing deficit.”

 

Auto

Rolls-Royce Cullinan takes inspiration from new fashion, creates ultimate SUV

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In line with their vision of creating an ultimate SUV, Rolls-Royce recently brightened up the Art Basel festival, held in Miami, Florida, the United States, revealing several courageous specifications marked by a progressive styling approach inspired by the fashion industry of today.

“The House of Rolls-Royce [revealed the] ‘Cullinan – Inspired by Fashion’, comprised two prêt-à-porter collections– the bold Re-Belle and striking Fu-Shion,” the super luxury automaker said at the event.

Since its first launch back in 2018, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan has established itself as a vehicle that takes luxury and comfort to a completely new level, according to an online auto journal, Auto Revolution.

Its interior craftsmanship is second to none, being spoiled with the finest materials and incredible attention to detail, giving passengers an unforgettable experience.

Developed under the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective label, the British brand’s latest creations are inspired by the brilliant colours and textures seen in the world of high fashion, in an effort to celebrate “the eclectic tastes and lifestyle of [Rolls-Royce] luxury clientele,” and produce genuine pieces of automotive art in the meantime.

Also regarded as a firm statement of the infinite customizing possibilities that their Bespoke program can offer, the Cullinan – Inspired by Fashion collection is comprised of eight distinct personalities.

Each member of the collection comes finished in two interior color-ways in contrasting accents.

The Lime Green and Peony Pink layout schemes are available in the case of Re-Belle, while the Mandarin or Forge Yellow themes uniquely furnish the inside living space of the Fu-Shion, contrasting against the Arctic White or Cashmere Grey bespoke leather upholstery.

Each interior choice may be combined with one of two carefully selected exterior colors, albeit for a more eye-catching or subdued appearance, according to customer preferences.

Even more, in the case of the Re-Belle, the dashboard fascia gets an exquisitely crafted handwoven stainless-steel fabric inspired by metallic garments seen on this year’s catwalks.

The delicate 0.45 mm diameter thread is designed to create a captivating atmosphere on the inside as the vehicle moves, and the handwoven pattern catches and reflects light in distinctive ways.

Complimenting the interior highlights of the Re-Belle are the gorgeous Lime Green, Gunmetal, Wildberry, or Arctic White exterior colors, forming a perfect pairing for the selected interior layouts.

The Fu-Shion models act upon the Black Badge character of the Cullinan, reinterpreting high fashion from a utilitarian perspective, so deeply engraved in Cullinan’s perceived personality, as the pinnacle of luxury that can go effortlessly everywhere.

The RR’s in-house designers devised two interior themes for Fu-Shion: an eye-catching combination of Military Green, Navy Blue, and Mandarin and an Arctic White and Cashmere Grey leather blend contrasting with Forge Yellow accents.

Last but not the least, the Cullinan Fu-Shion can be commissioned in one of four exterior colours, depending on the interior palette: Military Green, Burnout Grey, Forge Yellow, or Tempest Grey.

All the models from the Cullinan – Inspired by Fashion collection come exclusively fitted with the brand-new Starlight Tailgate, a superb addition to the usual Starlight Headliner that is designed to further extend the cosmic ambiance outside the vehicle for the ultimate experience.

Also a bespoke feature, the Starlight Tailgate consists of 192 gently illuminated star-like LEDs embedded into the perforated leather, taking over 22 hours to recreate.

Even more, the vehicles benefit from the Viewing Suite, creating the ideal environment for celestial night exploration, at any given moment.

Of course, a Rolls-Royce Cullinan – Inspired by Fashion collection would not be complete without a matching set of luggage offerings, made to complement each of the four interior theme layouts.

It includes the 24-hour Weekender, the 48-hour Weekender, the Holdall, Tote Bag, and Organiser Pouch, consisting of a total of five pieces that can be purchased either as a complete set or separately.

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Railway

Abuja-Kaduna train: NRC opens online, mobile app ticketing Sunday 8am

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…gives more stringent conditions

As train operation resumes on the Abuja-Kaduna rail corridor this Monday December 5, 2022, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has said that the purchase of tickets by proxy for the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train service will be limited to only minors and a specified number of adult passengers.

It also stated that online and mobile app ticketing would be available from 8am in the on Sunday, December the 4th, 2022 while the ticket offices at the train stations would open from 6:30am on Monday, December the 5th.

This is part of the stringent security measures announced by the NRC as contained in a new statement issued by the management of the corporation.

The statement also indicated that the first train would depart the Rigasa Train Station in Kaduna State to Abuja by 8am while from Abuja, the first train would depart Idu Train Station to Kaduna by 9:45am.

The NRC management also revealed that as part of the new security measures, it is now mandatory for passengers to present their National Identity Number (NIN) and valid boarding ticket before they will be allowed to board.

Part of the statement by the NRC read, “This is to inform the general public that Nigerian Railway Corporation on the directive of the Federal Government through the Ministry of Transportation will resume the Abuja Kaduna Passenger train service on Monday 5th December 2022.

“The commuting public is hereby advised that as part of the new security measures on the Abuja Kaduna service, it is now mandatory to present the following documents before being allowed to board the train:

“National Identification Number (NIN) to every adult boarding the train.

“Valid boarding ticket: No access will be allowed into the departure or arrival hall without a valid ticket.

“Purchase of tickets by proxy is only limited to minors and a specified number of adult passengers.

“All individual adult travellers must submit their NIN before the ticket can be issued.’’

The NRC suspended train service on the Abuja Kaduna route following the attack by some terrorists on a moving passenger train on March 28, 2022, with many passengers on board.

The attack which occurred a few kilometres from Kaduna metropolis had about eight people killed, with dozens injured and some others kidnapped by the bandits.

The terrorists, who attacked the Kaduna-bound train have released hostages in tranches with the last release coming on October 5, 2022.

 

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Business

Labour Party’s structure stronger than APC, PDP, says Utomi

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  • ‘Two ex-president backing Obi’

Professor of political economy, Pat Utomi, has said two former heads of state are supporters of Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party.

The PUNCH reported Utomi to have spoken in Abuja on Friday during a town hall meeting organised by the BIG-TENT, a coalition of political parties, social movements, and civil society organisations (CSOs), in support of Obi’s presidential ambition.

Utomi, who is the convener of the coalition, did not disclose the names of the ex-heads of the state.

He said the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) do not have a strong structure like the LP.

He said the group had developed “real structures” for the LP to take Nigeria back from those who had misruled the country.

“Money alone doesn’t win elections. Two former heads of state have said to me they are Obidients. A lot of people want to join the movement without joining the Labour Party to ensure that Obi and Baba-Ahmed win to capture our country back from those who have held us down,” he said.

Utomi also said, “The LP has better structures than the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress. When people talk about structures, I kind of laugh because they don’t understand the meaning of structure.

“The structure is a criminal network of people who can fix elections, and we have to stop that; that’s not structure.

“We at the BIG-TENT have worked at developing real structures and they are going to be shocked at what they will see.

“Many of the Peter Obi support groups have structures on their own that can win these elections. At every poll during the election day, we will have 20 people who belong to these structures.

“When they get to the polling units, it won’t be business as usual. And when they try to mess things up by doctoring information technology from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), they will meet us there because we know they are planning things like that but they will meet us there with technology.”

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