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FG Creates 1.6m Jobs in One Year

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Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,  minister of Finance, has said that the Federal Government has created 1.6 million jobs in the past 12 months.

Okonjo-Iweala disclosed this during her presentation at an interactive session with the private sector, where she said that a total of 432,021 jobs were created during the first quarter of the year, adding that this figure represented about 11.69 per cent increase over the number of jobs created during the fourth quarter of 2012.

She stated, “We have created 1.6 million jobs in the past 12 months. 431,021 jobs were created in the first quarter of 2013, showing an upward trend in job creation and an increase of 11.69 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2012.”

Okonjo-Iweala said a key government programme focused on direct job creation was the Community Service Scheme, which aims to engage 320,000 youths in labour intensive work such as construction and rehabilitation of social and economic infrastructure.

According to her presentation, about 120,000 people have been employed so far under the scheme, which is being anchored by the Subsidy Re-Investment Programme.

She also listed the Graduate Internship Scheme, which aims to attach 50,000 graduates to competent firms to enhance skills development towards employability. She noted that 4,000 graduates had emerged so far under the scheme.

According to Okonjo-Iweala, who spoke on the “Economy’s macroeconomic performance for 2013 and the outlook for 2014,” the Gross Domestic Product growth is expected at 6.75 per cent at the end of 2013, up from 6.61 per cent in 2012.

She recalled that the GDP growth in the first three quarters of 2013 stood at 6.56 per cent, 6.18 per cent and 6.81 per cent respectively.

The minister noted that economic growth during the year had continued to be driven by the non-oil sector.

However, she lamented that the rate of economic growth as well as the quality of growth had been very slow, underscoring the need for improvement.

“Nigeria needs to grow faster in the job-creating sectors at between nine to10 per cent per annum to create the number of jobs needed to substantially reduce poverty,” she said, adding, “GDP rebasing, which is currently in progress, could increase GDP substantially but its impact on growth rates is not yet certain.”

She further noted, “Economic growth needs to be more inclusive as inequality is high and rising in Nigeria; this needs to be reversed.”

In order to achieve this, the minister said the Federal Government would in 2014 make efforts to ‘remove structural bottlenecks’ in sectors as power, ports, rail, roads, communication technology (broadband) and aviation.

Also, there will be an improvement in the business climate and efforts will be made to reduce bureaucracy and fight corruption.

She gave the assurance that the government would in 2014 enact supportive polices for sectoral growth in agriculture, housing, manufacturing, creative industries, solid minerals, oil and gas and petrochemicals, among others.

“We will also build social safety nets for vulnerable women, children, and the disabled to address regional disparities,” she added.


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CBN Pulls Rate Cut Trigger, King Dollar Returns

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By Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM,

In a move that caught investors off-guard this week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) slashed interest rates by 100 basis points bringing the MPR to 11.5%. Given how inflation has been above target since 2015, rates were expected to remain unchanged for the rest of 2020 and possibly early 2021.

 

The question on the mind of many is whether the rate cut will achieve the desired effect by stimulating consumption and economic growth? Ongoing border closures and disruptions created by COVID-19 have pushed inflation to levels not seen since March 2018 above 13.20% while a drop in the production and price of Oil continues to rub salt into the wound. While looser monetary policy could support growth, it may come at the cost of rising inflation and weaker Naira.

 

Over the past few months, central banks across the globe have deployed unprecedented measures to defend their respective economies against the coronavirus menace. However, fiscal policy has been identified as the sharper tool with governments across the world providing a critical lifeline to keep the wheels of their respective economies rolling.

 

Outside of Nigeria, King Dollar made a return by appreciating against every single G10 currency. In times of uncertainty, everyone wants a juicy piece of the world’s most liquid currency. As coronavirus cases rise in Europe and other parts of the world, the flight to safety is likely to boost appetite for the Dollar. This is bad news for many emerging markets currencies, especially those with high Dollar-denominated debt.

 

On the commodity side, Oil prices remain heavily influenced by demand-side factors and the state of the global economy. Prices are likely to remain stuck around the $40 regions in the near term, especially If another round of possible lockdowns hit Oil demand. Looking at the technicals, WTI Crude is under pressure on the daily charts. If prices are unable to break away from the sticky $40 regions, the next key point of interest remains around $38. A weekly close above $41.50 could pave a path towards $43.


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NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System

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Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.

NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System

Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.

He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.

“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.

“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.

He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.

Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.

Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.

According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.

“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.

Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.

 


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NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.

 

The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.

 

A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.

 

This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.

 

Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.

 

Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.

 

They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.

 

Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.

 

According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.

 

However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”

 

The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.

 

Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.

 


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