• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Five things to know to start your Thursday

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EMWA 2023: Lagos woos development partners for SME industrial hub

Lagos State Government has expressed readiness to receive development partners for partnership to engender the development of more small and medium scale industrial hubs in various parts of the state within the available enterprise zones.

The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Lagos, Adetutu Ososanya, made this known at the Equipment and Manufacturing West Africa 2023 Conference on Wednesday in Lagos.

The event organised in collaboration with Nigerian-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, had its theme as “Reigniting Manufacturing to Drive Economic Growth and Development”.

Ososanya said that Lagos would continue to improve on its economic policy coordination and implementation, encourage partnership and collaboration between the public and private Sectors, and prioritize labour to promote investments in the state.

She said the state, through the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives and sister MDAs, was also facilitating the support of multi-lateral partners and agencies for the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) for increased economic production and export. (NAN)

Read also: Sanwo-Olu excites Lagosians, launches 876 housing units in 3 estates

GNI not transferring its annuity insurance business – MD

Cecilia Osipitan, Managing Director, Great Nigeria Insurance Plc (GNI), refuted claims making the rounds on social media that its annuity insurance business had been acquired by a rival insurance company on Wednesday.

Osipitan, who said this at a media briefing in Lagos, accused some unscrupulous competitors of trying to demarket the brand of the company and shrink its share of the annuity insurance market.

“The attention of the board and management of GNI has been drawn to a publication making the rounds to the effect that GNI Plc and Tangerine Africa annuity businesses have been acquired by a particular insurance company.

“In the last five years, our annuity insurance portfolio has grown steadily by over 14,845 percent, and our annuitants have been enjoying value-added services.

“In view of the foregoing, there is no basis for transferring our annuity business to another company in the industry,” she said.

World Bank warns Nigeria about risks of operating multiple exchange rates system

David Malpass, President of the World Bank, has warned Nigeria about the dangers of its parallel exchange rate system, saying that it has the potential to worsen the country’s future debt service payments and increase the risk of debt distress.

Malpass gave this warning in a recent World Bank blog post titled, “Parallel Exchange Rates: The World Bank’s Approach to Helping People in Developing Countries,” published on Wednesday on the bank’s website.

According to the World Bank president, Nigeria and 23 emerging and developing economies that have an active parallel currency market are at risk of defaulting on debt service payments.

He added that “in at least 14 of them, the exchange rate premium—the difference between the official and the parallel rate—is a material problem, exceeding 10 percent.

“The economics of parallel exchange rates are clear: they are expensive, highly distortionary for all market participants, associated with higher inflation, impede private sector development and foreign investment, and lead to lower growth.

“They benefit the group that has access to foreign exchange at the subsidised rate, paid for by everyone else (which may include the World Bank Group and its stakeholders).  Hence, there is also a strong correlation, if not causation, between the existence of parallel rates and corruption.”

IMF urges BOJ to keep ultra-low rates, but be ready to shift course

The Bank of Japan must keep monetary policy ultra-loose as it will take time to re-anchor inflation expectations to its 2 percent target, International Monetary Fund’s chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas told Reuters.

But the central bank must be vigilant to the risk of price growth overshooting expectations, and be ready to tighten policy if inflation stays above its target for too long, he said.

“There’s an opportunity right now” to re-anchor inflation expectations at the central bank’s target with underlying inflation exceeding 2 percent and wages starting to rise, Gourinchas said in an interview conducted on Tuesday.

“But it will take time. It won’t happen overnight” as the public must be convinced Japan won’t fall back to deflation, Gourinchas said, adding it was “too early” for the BOJ to tighten policy. (Reuters)

Sudanese army suspends ceasefire talks

Diplomatic efforts to put an end to the war in Sudan took a hit after the Sudanese army suspended talks with a rival paramilitary force on Wednesday over a ceasefire and aid access.

This development could potentially push Africa’s third-largest country deeper into a humanitarian crisis.

The armed forces said in a statement that they halted talks in the Saudi city of Jeddah, accusing the other side of a lack of commitment in implementing any terms of the agreement and a continuous violation of the ceasefire.