Five things to know to start your Thursday

Reps rejects foreign affairs 2023 budget

The House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs has resolved not to consider the 2023 budget of the Ministry of Foreign until it complies fully with the 2022 Appropriation Act.

Yakub Buba, the committee chairman said this during a budget defence session held on Wednesday at the National Assembly in Abuja.

He said that the ministry must direct all Nigerian missions to abide by Section 10 of the 2022 Appropriations Act (as Amended).

Buba said that the section empowers the mission to spend their capital expenditures without approval from the ministry.

According to NAN, the chairman said that the committee had written the ministry to observe the law but the ministry has continued to prevent the mission from spending allocated funds.

“We have called the attention of the Minister to this Act, but he has continued to direct the missions not to obey this law in spite of receiving about four letters on the issue, including the latest one of Sept. 6,” he said.

Read also: Reps reject N5.1bn budget for auditor general’s office

Jumia Nigeria unveils 2022 Black Friday sales

Jumia, Africa’s biggest e-commerce platform, has urged Nigerians to leverage the 2022 edition of its Black Friday shopping campaign to tackle “sapa” and navigate the current economic realities.

Massimiliano Spalazzi, the Chief Executive Officer of Jumia Nigeria, gave the advice at a news conference on Wednesday in Lagos.

Spalazzi said the 2022 Black Friday event scheduled for Nov. 4–27, tagged “Beat Sapa,” was also targeted toward supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other brands to reach millions of customers.

“Sapa” is a term commonly used by Nigerians to describe a state of poverty.

This year’s “Black Friday” event is expected to reward many customers with mouthwatering discounts on a wide range of products across different categories from top international and local brands.

According to Spalazzi, Jumia took the initiative of making this year’s Black Friday event a more consumer-rewarding one because of the state of affairs in the country. Taking into cognizance the difficulties many Nigerians are facing trying to survive

U.S. Fed raise interest rate, strongly committed to returning inflation to 2%

The much-anticipated rate hike by the US Federal Reserve was announced on Wednesday, stating a 0.75 percent increase—a hike that the Fed believes would help address the growing inflation situation in the United States of America.

The Fed also promised to slow down its aggressive policy tightening in the near future, fearing that the economy may jump into recession if the current cost of borrowing persists. This hike is the fourth hike this year.

During its press briefing, Jerome Powell, the Fed Chairman, said that “the Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run.”

“In support of these goals, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 3-3/4 to 4 percent,” he added.

The committee agreed that rate hikes will continue, albeit moderately, until “inflation is returned to 2 percent over time.”

“In determining the pace of future increases in the target range, the Committee will take into account the cumulative tightening of monetary policy, the lags with which monetary policy affects economic activity and inflation, and economic and financial developments.”

“In addition, the Committee will continue reducing its holdings of Treasury securities, agency debt, and agency mortgage-backed securities, as described in the Plans for Reducing the Size of the Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet that were issued in May,” he said.

He promised that not only would the Fed monitor the health of the economy but it would also take the right monetary policy measures to ensure that inflation is returned to 2 percent.

“The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that could impede the attainment of the Committee’s goals,” he noted.

The decision to raise the rate was a result of how the monetary tightening by the Fed has helped address inflation in the US. This can be seen from the low unemployment that persists in the US economy despite supply and demand imbalances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the higher food and energy prices.

“Recent indicators point to modest growth in spending and production.

“Job gains have been robust in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low,” Powell said.

Speaking, he linked the Fed’s reasons for the new rate hike to the Russian war on Ukraine, which is “causing tremendous human and economic hardship.” Also linked are other events that are creating additional upward pressure on inflation and are weighing on global economic activity.

Vince Reinhart, chief economist at Dreyfus and Mellon, who spoke with the Associated Press, said that the Powell-led US Fed has been able to achieve his objective with this new rate. “I think he accomplished his goal,” he said. “That’s why the market was so confused.”

The Fed’s meeting occurred as financial markets and many economists have grown nervous that Powell will end up leading the central bank to raise borrowing costs higher than needed to tame inflation and will cause a painful recession in the process.

Powell implicitly addressed those fears at his news conference. He kept the door open to downshifting to a half-point hike when the Fed next meets in December. The central bank could then step down even further to a quarter-point increase — a more typically sized rate hike — early next year.

North Korea launches ballistic missile over Japan

North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Thursday that flew over Japanese territory, according to alerts in Japan, a day after the nuclear-armed North fired at least 23 missiles, including one that landed off South Korea’s coast for the first time.

Residents in central Japan were warned to shelter indoors, according to the Japanese government’s broadcast warning system.

South Korea’s military also reported the missile launch, which was over North Korea’s east coast.

The Yonhap news agency reported the missile went through stage separation, suggesting it may be a long-range weapon.

North Korea fired at least 23 missiles into the sea on Wednesday, including one that landed less than 60 km (40 miles) off South Korea’s coast, which South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol described as “territorial encroachment” and Washington denounced as “reckless”.

That was the first time a ballistic missile had landed near the South’s waters since the peninsula was divided in 1945, and the most missiles fired by the North in a single day. South Korea issued rare air raid warnings and launched its own missiles in response.

Elon Musk plans to cut half of Twitter employees’ jobs in cost-cut drive

There are indications that 3,700 people are set to lose their jobs at Twitter following reports that Elon Musk plans to eliminate about 3,700 jobs at the company.

Bloomberg reported that this move by the company’s new owner is targeted at driving costs down following his $44 billion acquisition of the company.

Musk aims to inform affected staffers on Friday, said the people, who requested anonymity while discussing non-public plans. Musk also intends to reverse the company’s existing “work from anywhere” policy, asking remaining employees to report to offices — though some exceptions could be made, the people said.

Musk and a team of advisers have been weighing a range of scenarios for job cuts and other policy changes at San Francisco-based Twitter, the people said, adding that the terms of the headcount reduction could still change. In one scenario being considered, laid-off workers will be offered 60 days’ worth of severance pay, two of the people said. This is according to Bloomberg.

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