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CBN to maintain status quo on rates as inflation quickens

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Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM,
 

The latest inflation figures from Nigeria will most likely deter the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from cutting interest rates anytime.

Consumer prices in Nigeria accelerated for the fourth straight month in December last year, hitting its highest level since April 2018 at 11.98% as food prices continued to climb amid the on-going border closure. With inflationary pressures making an unwelcome return into early 2020 and moving further away from the CBN 9% upper target band, the Naira will continue to be vulnerable. Although central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said in November 2019 that “the impact of the border closures on inflation is temporary,” this may be questioned if inflation continues to escalate in 2020.

Rising inflationary pressures should force the CBN to maintain status quo on interest rates next week. However, all eyes will be on the loan to deposit ratio for banks which has been set to 65%. With monetary easing out of the question, the central bank could increase the loan to deposit rate to 70% in an effort to boost economic growth through investments in Nigeria’s real sector, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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Lagos Bus Services Rewards 10millionth Passenger of Its 10 months of Operation

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The Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL), the leading bus transport company in Lagos State has successfully transported 10 million Nigerians in 10 months of its operations. This disclosure was made in Lagos on Thursday 19, March 2020 by Mr. Idowu Oguntona, the company’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, after a commemorative bus ride with the 10-millionth passenger of the company from the Ojodu-Berger Terminus to Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island.

The 10-millionth commuter, Uwuadileke Chinedu, was identified before the trip commenced and was given a one-month free bus pass at a short commemorative ceremony at the bus terminus.

Oguntona, who was accompanied by senior management staff of LBSL, some commuters and guests during the trip, gave company’s scorecard and assured stakeholders that its best was yet to come.

He further assured commuters who use the Lagos Bus Services of its commitment to excellence as the gold bar of its operations by moving them to their destinations timely, conveniently, comfortably and at affordable fares.

Oguntona assured Nigerians that the company’s long term goal is to help in making Lagos a livable city where most car owners do not see the need to put their cars on the road during business hours as they can count on Lagos Bus Services to transport them to their desired destinations within the City of Lagos.

Oguntona said, “As part of our efforts to facilitate intermodal transportation in Lagos State, we collaborate with LAGFERRY to ensure seamless movement of people, and we are ready to work with other sister organisations to ensure that the Sanwo-Olu administration’s blueprint for the transport sector is realised.

The Greater Lagos we envisage with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is a smart city where a resident can get of home, ride on our bus, get on a ferry link a train and still return home in a bus, all in a day’s journey. It is no longer a dream without a date. It is now a realisable goal in our life time.”

Oguntona further disclosed that the company has been growing organically, tripling its fleet from 50 buses in May 2019 to 150 high capacity buses by December 2019 as part of efforts to improve public transportation in Lagos State. Additional 65 high capacity buses were deployed and seven new major routes opened in February for the use of commuters affected by the restriction order placed on motorcycles and tricycles in some parts of Lagos.

Oguntona also stated that LBSL transports 80, 000 passengers daily on its 15 routes and has such has been able to achieve the significant feat of effectively transporting 10 million passengers in 10 months since 2019 while creating jobs for hundreds of people. He also disclosed that plans were afoot to introduce more high capacity and mini-buses into the company’s fleet to serve more commuters across the state.

“LBSL is a key player in the Traffic Management & Transportation; Health and Environment component of the THEMES agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. We have created jobs for over 700 Lagosians, with about 87 per cent of the staff being bus captains, operations staff and technical staff. We have also empowered Lagosians for employment through our driving school that successfully produced 1,969 certified high capacity bus drivers in 2019,” he said.

The MD further thanked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for government’s support and expressed LBSL’s readiness to collaborate with more public agencies to address public transport needs of Lagosians.

Speaking against the backdrop of the recent confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the State and the need for relevant organizations to embrace precautionary measures, Oguntona disclosed that the company is putting in place, necessary measures to minimize exposure to the virus in our buses.

In his words, ” As we speak now, the use of sanitizers in all our stations is now compulsory. This is in addition to provision of Thermometer already deployed across our stations to check passenger’s Temperature before they board our buses, to contain the spread of this virus and ensure that users of LBSL are safe and protected.

“Apart from this, we have educated our staff and we’re extending the same information and sensitization to our users on how to be safe in our buses. We ensure our buses are cleaned properly and disinfected regularly and we advocate a general personal and environmental hygiene for everyone”

The lucky 10-millionth commuter, Uwuadileke Chinedu, thanked the LBSL for its kind gesture, disclosing that it was a pleasant surprise as he never knew the company intended to reward anyone on a day like this.

“Lagos Bus Service has been a blessing since I started patronizing them. Comfortable, convenient and reliable all the time. And with this special milestone and recognition, I go dey follow you…” Chinedu concluded singing and dancing.


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MTN Leads Growth in Internet Users in Nigeria

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MTN Nigeria is the biggest gainer of new Internet users in one year, according to the latest monthly subscribers’ data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

MTN Leads Growth in Internet Users in Nigeria

The figure from January 2019 to January 2020, showed that MTN gained 9.6 million new Internet subscribers, followed by Airtel with 5.04 million new Internet.

Globacom, during the period under review, added 1.84 million new Internet customers to its network.

The NCC mobile Internet subscriber’s data showed that in one year, 9mobile lost 1.89 million Internet users.

Further analysis of the data indicated that the country gained a total of 16.73 million new Internet users during the period under review.

MTN had 45,931,171 Internet subscribers in January 2019 but recorded 55,527,289users by the end of January 2020.

On the Visafone spectrum, now owned by MTN, there were 90,196 mobile Internet users as of January 2020.

Airtel, which had 30,460,528 Internet subscribers in January 2019, gained 5,042,126 more to record 35,502,654 in January this year while Globacom’s mobile Internet subscriber base increased to 29,205,304 in January this year from 27,600,539 in January last year.

On the contrary, the data showed that 9mobile’s Internet subscribers declined from 9,882,966 in January 2019 to 8,040,261 in January 2020, losing 1,842,705 mobile Internet users.

 


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MTN Nigeria and Project Tour take “Turn it Up” campaign to Jos 

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MTN Nigeria took its ‘Turn it up’ campaign to the maiden edition of the ‘I Believe Summit 2020’. The summit is an annual forum where young and enterprising minds engage in enlightened debates on issues hampering national development with a view to providing possible solutions.

 

Speaking at the Summit which held in Jos, Olugbenga Hammed, Manager, Go-to-Market, MTN Nigeria said “Amazing opportunities abound in the country for us to take advantage.

 

“We understand the importance of having these conversations to inspire Nigerians. That is why we are part of this summit.

 

“We will continue to encourage Nigerians to look within and seek better ways to provide solutions to the country’s challenges and turn it up for themselves.”

 

The ‘I Believe Summit’ is powered by Project Tour Nigeria, a non-governmental vehicle for national reconciliation meant to showcase the wealth of Nigeria’s social, economic, cultural and traditional heritage as well as the enormous tourism investment potential in the country.

 

The Summit will hold in all states of the federation before proceeding for a finale in Abuja.

 

 

 


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