• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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Five things to know to start your Wednesday

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NRC to kick off night operations 

The Nigeria Railway Corporation aims to introduce night operations by early 2024, expanding services on key routes like Lagos-Kano and Port Harcourt-Aba.

Managing Director Fidet Okhiria highlighted plans to increase standard gauge train trips to six daily, enhancing connectivity on routes like Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kaduna.

The initiative targets improved accessibility but considers security concerns. The expansion is set to roll out before the second quarter of 2024.

Manufacturers urge FG to clear FX backlog demand of  $7bn debt

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) anticipates a challenging start to 2024 for the industry, citing a challenging first half due to forex backlogs and inflation.

The sector predicts a modest 3.2 percent growth, aiming for a rebound in the third quarter.

MAN urges the government to clear the $7 billion Forex Backlog, implement growth-driven policies, and enhance liquidity to tackle inflationary pressures and revive manufacturing.

Structural reforms in power and investment in renewables are recommended for economic efficiency.

Weather forecast: Sunny north, hazy south; Coastal belt cloudy

A sunny and hazy atmosphere is anticipated over the North and North Central regions during the forecast period.

Moderate dust haze with horizontal visibility of 2–5 km is expected over the inland areas of the south, while few clouds in a hazy atmosphere are expected over the coastal belt throughout the forecast period.

Chinese official urges Taiwan’s people to make ‘correct choice’ on election

A Chinese official called Taiwan’s upcoming elections crucial, framing them as pivotal for peace or conflict.

China’s leaders have avoided direct references to the vote while emphasising Taiwan’s decision as significant for cross-strait relations.

Zhang Zhijun urged Taiwanese to make a choice favouring peaceful development.

Taiwan’s government maintains its stance on sovereignty, emphasising the islanders’ autonomy in determining their destiny and rejecting China’s claims.

Oil prices hold steady amid economic concerns, despite Red Sea worries

Oil prices steadied in Asian trade after earlier volatility, influenced by U.S. economic concerns and Red Sea tensions.

Brent crude held at $75.88 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate rose slightly to $70.42.

Attacks in the Red Sea and an Iranian warship’s reported arrival boosted prices, but market optimism faltered over U.S. interest rate cut expectations and weakened equity markets.

Despite geopolitical concerns, ample oil supply forecasts subdued anxieties ahead of the OPEC+ meeting in February.