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Five things to know to start your Friday

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Tinubu seeks delay in releasing academic records amid Atiku’s request to US Court

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has filed an emergency motion in a US court to delay the release of his academic records to opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar.

The motion seeks to postpone compliance with a court order instructing Chicago State University (CSU) to provide Tinubu’s academic records to Atiku until Monday. Atiku had requested these records, including admission details and degrees, to investigate alleged discrepancies in Tinubu’s academic history.

Despite objections by Tinubu’s legal team, the court previously ordered CSU to release the records. Tinubu argues that Atiku’s challenge to the 2023 Nigerian election should not involve a delay in complying with the order.

NCC advocates collaboration for enhanced Nigerian payment system

The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) has highlighted the importance of collaboration in strengthening the nation’s payment system.

Umar Danbatta, NCC’s Vice Chairman, stressed this during the 2023 annual conference of the Finance Correspondent Association of Nigeria.

He emphasised the need for a long-term commitment to enhancing digital infrastructure and underscored the significance of collaboration, investment, and adaptability.

Danbatta called for closer cooperation between the NCC and financial regulators, advocated partnerships among financial institutions, telecom operators, and fintech companies, and urged the government to promote digital payments and support e-government initiatives.

Collaboration among stakeholders is crucial for the success of innovative payment solutions.

Unlocking AfCFTA benefits requires quality, states NQC

The National Quality Council (NQC) stressed the importance of implementing the Nigerian National Quality Policy to unlock the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) for Nigeria.

Osita Aboloma, Chairman and CEO of the National Quality Council, emphasised the role of the agency in enhancing Nigeria’s quality infrastructure to support competitiveness.

He highlighted the need for adherence to international standards to prevent product rejection and maximise AfCFTA advantages.

The agency plans to convene a stakeholders’ summit on policy implementation and perform gap analysis to advise the government on short, medium, and long-term strategies for economic growth, job creation, and increased exports.

Bitcoin dips to $26.5K as rising dollar spells crypto headache

Cryptocurrency markets saw a decline on Thursday following Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s hawkish remarks, signalling a prolonged period of tight financial conditions and high interest rates.

Bitcoin (BTC) dipped to approximately $26,600, down 1.5 percent in 24 hours, despite positive news about delayed payouts related to the Mt. Gox implosion. Ether (ETH) dropped below $1,600, hitting a 14-month low against BTC, down 1.8 percent for the day.

Major cryptocurrencies like Solana (SOL), Polygon (MATIC), Lido (LDO), and Optimism (OP) suffered even steeper losses, falling 3 percent–5 percent.

However, the CoinDesk Culture & Entertainment Index (CNE) bucked the trend, rising 1 percent thanks to strong performance from ImmutableX’s native coin (IMX), driven by the non-fungible token (NFT) platform.

Supply concerns trump demand worries, sending oil prices higher

Oil prices edged higher on Friday due to concerns over Russia’s ban on fuel exports, which could tighten global oil supply.

Brent futures rose by 0.2 percent to $93.51 a barrel, and U.S. WTI crude gained 0.3 percent to reach $89.86.

Despite these gains, both benchmarks were on track for a weekly loss, following three weeks of more than 10 percent increases driven by concerns about tight global supply due to OPEC+ production cuts.

The market remains uncertain, with worries about slower fuel demand due to tighter U.S. and European monetary policies. Investors are closely watching OPEC+ compliance and the impact of rising interest rates on demand.