• Sunday, December 10, 2023
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Five things to know to start your Monday


CBN, Bill Gates to collaborate on financial inclusion

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) have finalised arrangements for collaboration on financial inclusion.

According to a statement from the apex bank, the two groups recently held strategic discussions on how to deepen collaboration on financial inclusion in Nigeria.

During the discussions, CBN’s Acting Governor, Folashodun Shonubi, reportedly reiterated the commitment of the apex bank to continually partner with BMGF and other development partners.

Shonubi said that such partnership would be to explore innovative solutions for driving access to finance.

He said that though much progress had been made in various aspects of financial inclusion, some challenges still remained in attaining the desired level of financial inclusion in Nigeria.

He, therefore, called for greater partnership between the apex bank and the BMGF.

Read also: CBN;s new customer due diligence rules: what you should know

Sen. Sani urge President Tinubu to reopen land borders

Senator Shehu Sani has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to reopen all land borders across Nigeria.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Sunday, the former lawmaker representing Kaduna Central said that the reopening of the borders was necessary to allow for free trade in line with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol.

He said the closure of borders over the years “killed the Nigerian economy”.

The former lawmaker said the development plunged a lot of Nigerians into abject poverty, particularly those in border communities.

 “The closing of land borders has not led to enough production of food for more than 200 million Nigerians as envisaged.

“It is disturbing to note that the past government closed down land borders and gave preference to the rich by opening sea borders for rice importation,”he said.

Customs builds laboratory to tackle counterfeiting, safeguard public health

Abdullahi Maiwada, the Chief Superintendent of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), said that the agency has begun the process of establishing a laboratory to tackle counterfeiting and other forms of infractions.

In a press statement issued by the National Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Maiwada, in Abuja on Sunday said the Acting Comptroller-General (C-G) of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, who had commenced the process, was commited to deploying necessary strategies to enhance customs operations.

According to him, the laboratory will be equipped to deliver precise identification, verification, and classification of goods.

“The NCS laboratory will provide comprehensive solutions to address challenges such as counterfeit goods, smuggling, and non-compliant imports.

“This will bolster revenue generation while ensuring the protection of public health and safety,” he said.

$3tn required to close infrastructure deficit in 30 years – Soludo

In a 2023 annual lecture held in Lagos and organised by the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, themed “Financing Engineering Infrastructure,” Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State said that Nigeria needs around $3 trillion worth of investment, or around $100 billion every year for the next 30 years, to close its infrastructure deficit.

Soludo added that the Federal Government needs to increase its spending from “two to three percent of the Gross Domestic Product to over 10 percent to bridge the country’s huge infrastructure gap.”

Nigeria’s infrastructure stock deficit, estimated at 20–25 percent of Gross Domestic Product according to Soludo, is less than the international benchmark of 70 percent of GDP and in need of massive investment.

Oil up, stocks dip after short-lived Russian mutiny

Crude oil prices went up slightly in early trade on Monday, while some major stock prices slipped slightly after investors figured an abortive weekend mutiny by Russian mercenaries raised questions about stability and crude supply.

Brent crude futures rose 1 percent to $74.55 a barrel while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate settled above $70, recouping a little of the losses made last week. Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.2 percent, and Australia’s ASX 200 fell 0.3 percent.

According to Reuters, the safe-haven yen also rose a bit, though it had help from hints at possible currency intervention from Japan’s top FX diplomat and a summary of opinions showing a central bank board member pushed for a debate on its yield curve control policy.