• Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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Five things to know to start your Wednesday

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ITUC expresses alarm at mounting unresolved labour conflicts

The African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union has raised concerns over unresolved labour issues affecting Nigerian workers.

ITUC-Africa’s General Secretary, Akhator Odigie, highlighted the worrying incident in Imo State on November 1, 2023, where workers, including the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, were violently attacked.

The group denounced this as a human rights violation and an affront to justice. Despite government appeals for dialogue, the planned nationwide strike for investigation remains pending.

Massive surge: Domestic borrowing skyrockets to N52trn, up 134%

The Director-General of Nigeria’s Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, revealed a staggering 133.95 percent rise in domestic debt stock, hitting N51.96 trillion by 2023’s close.

The government secured N7.04 trillion in new domestic borrowing during the year. Oniha defended the increase, attributing it to securitized Ways and Means Advances, indicating a total domestic debt of N25.60tn outside these advances.

She noted strong investor interest, projecting continued domestic market engagement in 2024, while foreign market rates remained high due to global uncertainties.

Consumers urge FG for extension of SIM-NIN deadline beyond February

Telecom subscribers urge the Federal Government to extend the deadline for blocking lines without National Identity Numbers (NIN) to April 30 from February 28.

The National Association of Telecom Subscribers seeks a one-year extension, emphasising widespread NIN awareness. Telcos received a directive to block unregistered SIMs by specified dates.

Despite concerns, telcos stress NIN’s importance for national identity, economic inclusion, and security, urging subscribers to comply to avoid service suspension.

Warning of mass protests, NLC alerts FG as banks limit withdrawals amid cash shortage

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) expressed grave concerns about the persistent cash scarcity five days ahead of Christmas.

Bank customers struggle to access cash despite Central Bank assurances.

The NLC warned of an impending mass protest if the naira shortage remains unaddressed, calling it insensitive and risking citizens’ patience.

The union emphasised the impact on festive celebrations, urging a solution to ensure Nigerians enjoy the season without financial strain amid economic challenges.

Oil prices edge up as traders eye Red Sea developments

Oil prices rose slightly due to concerns over disruptions in global trade and Middle Eastern tensions following Houthi attacks on Red Sea ships.

Brent crude increased by 0.1 percent to $79.29 a barrel, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose to $74.11 a barrel.

Washington initiated a task force to protect Red Sea commerce as attacks forced shipping re-routes, impacting global trade.

Despite these concerns, the impact on oil supply remains limited as most Middle East crude exports through the Strait of Hormuz.

Additionally, the U.S. bought 2.1 million barrels of crude for February delivery to replenish its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and U.S. crude and fuel inventories reportedly rose, contrary to expectations.

The U.S. is currently the largest oil producer globally and is exporting nearly as much oil as Saudi Arabia or Russia.