• Monday, March 04, 2024
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Five things to know to start your Monday


Ivory Coast clinched the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-1 victory over Nigeria. Franck Kessie and Sébastien Haller scored second-half goals to overturn William Troost-Ekong’s opener.

Despite a rocky start and coach change, Ivory Coast secured their third AFCON title. Nigeria, aiming for a fourth win, fell short despite past successes in 1980, 1994, and 2013.

The Elephants’ triumph on home soil marks a memorable moment for Ivorian football.

The International Monetary Fund warns that Nigeria’s cost-of-living crisis worsens due to stalled growth, poverty, and food insecurity. Inflation hits 27 percent, with food inflation at 32 percent.

The IMF attributes this to fuel subsidy cuts, currency depreciation, and agricultural issues. Nigeria struggles with low revenue, hindering public services and investment.

The report underscores external financing scarcity amid global economic challenges.

The IMF’s assessment highlights Nigeria’s daunting economic and external landscape.

President Bola Tinubu pledges to make Nigeria a food-exporting nation through aggressive mechanisation, aiming for self-sufficiency and bolstering agricultural productivity.

He affirms support for 2024 Hajj pilgrims and underscores the importance of spiritual endeavours in nation-building.

Tinubu outlines plans for agricultural expansion, including bringing in thousands of tractors and offering low-interest loans to farmers.

His administration aims to increase food production and productivity, aligning with the principles he values.

Between January and September 2023, power distribution companies overbilled approximately 7.1 million unmetered electricity consumers, according to Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission data.

The overbilling amounted to over N105 billion, affecting various regions. Yola Disco overbilled 42,902 customers, while Abuja Disco overbilled 1,823,218 customers.

Benin, Enugu, Eko, Ibadan, and Jos Discos also engaged in overbilling practices, raising concerns about fair billing practices across the sector.

Oil prices fell in early Asian trade on Monday after Israel said it had “concluded” a series of strikes in southern Gaza, slightly easing concerns about supply from the Middle East.

Brent crude futures were down 43 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $81.76 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were 46 cents, or 0.6 percent lower, at $76.38 a barrel at 0135 GMT.

Geo-political risks, including a feared broadening of the Israel-Palestinian conflict across the region and potential oil supply disruptions in the Middle East, pushed prices up by about 6 percent last week.

The Israeli military said on Monday it had conducted a “series of strikes” on southern Gaza that have now “concluded,” days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a ceasefire proposal from Hamas. (Reuters)