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#EndSARS: IMF Links protests to economic difficulties

IMF reiterated that the protest in the country is not just against police brutality, but also unemployment and poverty.

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The African Department of the International Monetary Fund has attributed the civil unrest in Nigeria, spiked by the peaceful #EndSARS protest to the vulnerable state of the Nigerian economy.

This statement was made by the Board of the African Department of International Monetary Fund, during the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Regional Economic Outlook briefing, which was monitored by our source yesterday.

Optics

The Board blamed the civil unrest and the social instability in the Nation on the economic difficulties in the country as well as Nigeria’s economy low growth prospect. IMF reiterated that the protest in the country is not just against police brutality, but also unemployment, poverty.

The Department explained that the difficult event that followed since the wake of the decline in oil prices in 2015-16 in Nigeria, has made economic prospects low in the country, and this dislocation has exerted pressure on standards of living, which fueled the protest.

What they are saying

Mr. Abebe Amero Selassie, the Director of the African Department of IMF in his statement said; “where you have these kinds of economic difficulties, you know, social protests are not uncommon”.

He advised thus: “It is critical for the nation to get policy-induced barriers out of the way to facilitate stronger economic growth. The government needs to do more to raise revenues through the area of non-oil resources to be able to invest in health education which would, you know, allow people to be more successful at getting jobs but also improve the economy’s potential. So, I think that the development agenda that Nigeria has, I think, has to be tackled with gusto and vigour so that the millions of jobs that the country needs can be created.”

Other issues discussed

While speaking on the support the IMF gave Nigeria earlier this year, Mr. Selassie said: “The support is to help cushion the awful effects that the pandemic and the economic crisis that has unfolded has had on Nigeria. The important need for the government is to spend the resources on health, education, and other important areas at a difficult time like this. I think the government is committed to provide us with an explanation of what the resources have been used for and you know, audits of how that was used in due course. And we look forward to that in the coming months.

What to expect

On growth projections, the IMF emphasized that although the protests happened after the fund had closed its projections for the year, the board explained that changes will depend really on how the protests evolve.

Hence, if the protests persist with significant effects on the economy and macroeconomic data, changes would be internalized in due course.

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Companies

Dangote Sugar proposes N18.2 billion as final dividend for 2020

Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has proposed a sum of N18.2 billion as the final dividend for shareholders.

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The Board of Directors of Nigeria, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has proposed a sum of N18.2 billion as the final dividend for shareholders for the period ended 31st December 2020.

This announcement was contained in the audited financial statement of the leading integrated sugar company.

In line with the statement of the Board of DSR, the approval of this proposed dividend at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting will see Dangote Sugar pay out a final dividend of N1.50 for each of the outstanding 12,146,878,241 ordinary shares of the company, held by its shareholders.

The proposed dividend is 36.36% higher than the final dividend of N1.1 per share (N13.36 billion) the sugar company paid its shareholders in 2019.

What you should know

  • Dangote Sugar Refinery declared in its audited statement for the period ended 31st December 2020 that its profit for the year climbed to N29.8 billion, from N22.4 billion in 2019.
  • According to these figures, DSR’s earnings per share for 2020 are pegged at N2.45. Hence, with a dividend of N1.50 per share, Dangote Sugar is set to payout 61.2% of its profits for 2020.
  • At the close of trading activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange today, shares in Dangote Sugar Refinery declined by 0.83% to close lower at N17.85.
  • At this price, the dividend yield of Dangote Sugar shares is 8.40%.
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HOSPITALITY & TRAVEL

FG approves reopening of Osubi Airport, Warri for daylight operations

Osubi Airport will be opened for operations in daylight in VFR conditions and observe COVID-19 protocols.

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The Federal Government approved the reopening of Osubi Airport, Warri, Delta State for daylight operations on Monday.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, via his Twitter handle on Monday.

According to him, the facility will be opened for operations in daylight in VFR conditions, while observing COVID-19 protocols.

He tweeted, “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in Visual Flight rules (VFR) conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.”

VFR are a set of regulations under which a pilot operates an aircraft in weather conditions generally clear enough to allow the pilot to see where the aircraft is going.

What you should know

  • The Airport, which was commissioned on 17th April 1999 by the former Minister of Aviation, Captain Briggs, is managed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
  • In 2020, the Federal Government, in a letter to all the aviation parastatals, had allegedly terminated the contract of Shoreline Oil Services Limited, the operator of the airport, with immediate effect, citing incompetence.
  • The facility has been a subject of controversy since it changed hands from the original owner, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), to Shoreline in partnership with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2015.
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Business

US Ambassador opens centre in Lagos, to boost entrepreneurial skills among Nigerian youth

US Ambassador to Nigeria has launched a centre where youths can gain entrepreneurship skills through programs and workshops.

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The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, opened the first-of-its-kind Window on America in Nigeria on Monday.

The Centre is expected to serve as a community center where young people develop their ideas, as well as their leadership and entrepreneurship skills through programs and workshops designed especially for them.

This was disclosed in a statement shared by Temitayo Famutimi, Information Specialist, Public Affairs Section (PAS), U.S. Consulate General and seen by Themoneymetrics.

According to the statement, the Centre, which was Hosted at the Lekki Slum2School Innovation Hub in Lagos, is as a result of a partnership between the US Consulate General, Lagos and Slum2School Africa, founded by Otto Orondaam, a 2016 alumnus of U.S. government’s Mandela Washington Fellowship.

The Ambassador noted that the new Window on America is open to everyone in the community, offering its services, programs and resources to the public at no cost.

She said, “We are happy to open the very first Window on America space in Nigeria here in Lekki.

“In the next few months, we will follow with six additional new Windows on America in the south and 12 across the country. We want our Windows on America to promote mutual understanding between the United States and the people of Nigeria.”

In addition to providing public programming space, the Lekki Window on America will support five core programs: English language learning, educational advising, alumni activities, cultural programs, and information about the U.S.

What you should know

  • Visitors to the window will typically include students, teachers, entrepreneurs, academics, journalists, civic organizations, government officials, and community leaders, in addition to many others.
  • Windows on America are American spaces that provide welcoming environments where visitors can learn about the United States, including its government, history, culture, and educational system through programs, lectures, books and electronic resources provided by the U.S. Government.
  • In addition to the Lekki Window on America, 12 more will be opened in major cities across the country, including Abeokuta, Awka, Benin City, Enugu, Osogbo, Uyo, Zaria, Minna, Dutse, Makurdi, Gombe and Lafia, in order to engage more Nigerian audiences in their local communities.
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