CBN’s interest rate could be cut for the first time in two years

Nigeria’s new inflation reports and the Senate’s decision to finally pass the 2018 budget has set the stage for the next

Nigeria’s new inflation reports and the Senate’s decision to finally pass the 2018 budget has set the stage for the next Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting. This is sheduled for next week as expectations are high for a cut in the central bank’s key interest rate.

The two parliaments in the country, the Senate and the House of Representatives, passed a record 9.12 trillion naira ($29.8 billion) budget for 2018 on Wednesday aimed at boosting growth in West Africa’s biggest economy six months after it was presented by the executive. This comes a couple of months before the next presidential election.

Growth has been fragile since emerging from the country’s first recession in 25 years. The Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPR) had taken the decision to raise the key interest rate to 14 percent in July 2016 in order to rein in inflationary pressures, and has since held it at that level. At 14 percent, Nigeria’s MPR is currently at its highest in at least 12 years.

Delays in passing budgets, caused by wranglings between the executive and legislature, have hindered the implementation of previous spending plans and stunted the growth of the economy. It has also limited the room for decision making by the MPC.

However, with the passage of the budget and Nigeria recording its lowest inflationary rate in 26 months at 12.48 percent, the MPC now have much more room to cut the MPR. Lowering the rate could increase domestic production and stimulate economic growth in the country. The inflation rate has taken a downward trend, decreasing to 12.48 percent in April and 0.86 percent points less than the rate recorded in March 2018, which was 13.34 percent.

“At this time, yes, we are still in the mode of tightening…but I can assure all of us that we will not tighten perpetually, that at some point, we will begin to loosen and I believe that those financial accommodation period are coming on very, very soon,” CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said earlier this year in Washington.

But there are risks. Monetary policy directions have been frustrated in the current administration by the weak implementation of fiscal policies and the current budget also faces the risk of unproductive spending in the lead up to the election next year. This is the major risk members of the MPC would consider before lowering interest rates. Also, consumer prices are still vulnerable and food index increased in April occasioned by increases in prices of potatoes, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish, bread and cereals, oil and fats, vegetables, coffee, tea and cocoa, meat, milk, cheese, and eggs.

A favourable end to 2018 for the Nigerian economy would be “predicated on the quick passage and effective implementation of the 2018 budget, improved security, foreign exchange market stability as well as favourable crude oil prices,” the MPC noted in the communique released after the last meeting. And that still holds true.

The next MPC meeting is scheduled for 21- 22 May 2018, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The post CBN’s interest rate could be cut for the first time in two years appeared first on Ventures Africa.

New Music: Ezi Emela – Think To Lose You

British Nigerian sultry singer Ezi Emela is back with her brand new single titled Think To Lose You, which is

British Nigerian sultry singer Ezi Emela is back with her brand new single titled Think To Lose You, which is produced by frequent collaborator Omeiza. The new single is taken from her forthcoming EP.

Backed by a sultry yet bouncy African influenced beat Ezi expresses in her own way with her reasons why she couldn’t ‘think to lose her partner’. With lyrics such as “do you see people going, they’re going but when I come into his space I own it” she expresses how as people come and go, she will always be around.

Ezi definitely brings out a cocky yet sexy side in this song but also gives you something to dance to, courtesy of the domineering instrumental created by Omeiza.

Listen and Download below:

RED’s Hydrogen One smartphone to launch on Verizon and AT&T in the summer

Camera maker RED has been accepting pre-orders for its Hydrogen One phone for close to a year now, but the

Camera maker RED has been accepting pre-orders for its Hydrogen One phone for close to a year now, but the shipping date keeps slipping – from Q1, then August and then to a non-committal “this summer”.

At least now RED has unveiled which carriers will sell the phone — Verizon and AT&T. Even so, the exact launch date and price are still uncertain (will the carriers offer any subsidies?).

We do know that it will be available on the Verizon Up rewards program, so every $300 spent on monthly bills can be turned into prizes – from VIP tickets to everyday rewards.

Verizon and RED are also partnering for the Hydrogen network, which will let you stream “4-View videos of cutting-edge games, music and films created by award-winning developers, musicians and directors, alongside independent creators”.

What's 4-View? It's a unique feature of the Hydrogen One's 5.7-inch “holographic” display. The camera was updated to let you record your own 4-View videos too.

These promise to offer a more three dimensional experience than “3D video” and will allow you to look around and behind objects. How well that works out in practice remains to be seen.

Throwback: “Osinbajo Is My Problem”- Jonathan Cries Out In Secret Meeting With Pentecostal Pastors In Abuja

Ruffled by the momentum generated by the nomination of Pastor Yemi Osinbajo as General Mohamadu Buhari’s running mate, President Goodluck

Ruffled by the momentum generated by the nomination of Pastor Yemi Osinbajo as General Mohamadu Buhari’s running mate, President Goodluck Jonathan is asking a group of Pentecostal pastors to help him avert what he fears could be an impending loss in next month’s presidential polls.

Osinbajo, a prominent cleric with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, law professor and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN emerged APC’s presidential running mate last month giving President Jonathan and the ruling party, PDP, what is being described as sleepless nights, by sources.

Specifically last Thursday, the President held a meeting in Abuja, with a number of Pentecostal pastors led by Bishop David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel, with the main agenda being how to fashion out ways to solve the “Osinbajo” problem.

Sources at the meeting confirmed that President Jonathan confessed in a rather rattled and humbling manner that “Osinbajo is my problem.”

According to those at the meeting, the President added that “everything was okay until APC picked Osinbajo.”

This is coming against the background of wild speculations that APC is an Islamist party and that General Buhari is a religious fundamentalist-which has become one of the main planks of the PDP presidential campaign. While PDP chieftains and supporters have continued to characterize APC as an Islamist party, APC leaders have consistently dismissed such as unfounded, baseless and a scare tactic by the PDP.

Many observers say the nomination of a prominent Pentecostal pastor from the fastest growing church in Africa by the APC may have effectively doused such speculations and the attempt to label the party as one with an islamization agenda.

There has been a rather conscious attempt to make next month’s presidential polls a religious one especially in the Southern part of the country where there is a much larger Christian population, observers say.

At the meeting organized by the Executive Secretary of the National Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) John Kennedy Okpara, President Jonathan poured out his mind that running against a leading Pastor of the RCCG, who is also known to be very close to the much reverred General Overseer of the church, Pastor E.A. Adeboye, is an uphill task.

Sources at the meeting, said Jonathan was ruffled and much distracted as he confessed to the challenge to him, of the APC naming such a person as Osinbajo as General Buhari’s running mate.

In response, the Pastors led by Bishop Oyedepo assured the President at the meeting that they would, “starting from today,” use every device possible including social media, the pulpit and influence peddling, to campaign in support of President Jonathan and against the Buhari-Osinbajo ticket.

Before the meeting with the President, sources said the pastors held a meeting on the same day to strategize and agree on how and what they would present  to the president.

At that pre-meeting, some Pentecostal pastors suggested that they use the opportunity of the meeting afforded by the President to express their genuine fears on growing insecurity in the North with Boko Haram killing and attacking Christians and other innocent Nigerians.

But Bishop David Oyedepo, the most influential pastor at the meeting interrupted the idea, insisting that the meeting was to encourage and strengthen President Jonathan ahead of the elections and not to discuss compelling national issues of concern to majority of Nigerians.

While some of the pastors were shocked and disappointed that Bishop Oyedepo would not allow them to raise important issues bothering most Nigerians, they decided to keep silent not to be seen as spoilsports.

And later after meeting the president, the pastors gathered together again on the same day to device strategies they will use to campaign against Buhari/Osinbajo, with the main scheme being to label the ticket as an Islamist one.

Some of the pastors also suggested that they can influence Christians that the position of Vice President is not an effective one, and that having a Christian hold it makes no difference, although the Nigerian constitution and the order of precedence makes the office the next in rank to the president.

Indeed as if carrying out the resolve, members of the Winners Chapel said Bishop Oyedepo has already started using the pulpit to achieve the goals set out at last Thursday meeting in Abuja.

Some of the members said yesterday Sunday January 18, Bishop Oyedepo raised a prayer point that an Islamist would not become the President of Nigeria in the polls coming next month to the chagrin of many of the church attendants on Sunday.

Herdsmen Kill Five Farmers In Benue State

Suspected Fulani herdsmen have killed five farmers at Ukemberagya district, near Anyii, in Logo local government area of Benue State.

Suspected Fulani herdsmen have killed five farmers at Ukemberagya district, near Anyii, in Logo local government area of Benue State.

Anyii is the country home of former Governor of the state, Gabriel Suswam and was the last Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visited before returning to Abuja later on Wednesday.

The Vice President visited the state on a peace mission on Wednesday. A community leader, Chief Joseph Anawah, told The Nation on phone that the attackers who were armed with sophisticated weapons stormed the settlements in Ukemberagya at 6:30 a.m. and operated for about three hours.

“They moved from one village to another, shot sporadically and razed houses,” he said.

Updated odds on Sokratis, Meyer and Arsenal’s 10 most likely summer signings

Betting syndicate Ladbrokes have this evening priced up the 10 most likely players to sign for Arsenal this summer, following

Betting syndicate Ladbrokes have this evening priced up the 10 most likely players to sign for Arsenal this summer, following the official opening of the transfer market.

Change at the helm

The main talking point with regards to the Gunners’ summer plans has surrounded the club’s hunt for a new manager, after Arsene Wenger confirmed his departure from the club following 22 years at the helm in North London.

Reinforcements

Aside from Wenger, though, Arsenal have also been linked with an absolute rake of additions on the transfer market, with the incoming Gunners’ boss, whoever he may be, no doubt set to demand several big-money signings to reinforce the sub-par current squad plying their trade at the Emirates.

Arsenal

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 22: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal celebrates with team mates as he scores their third goal wduring the Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on December 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The North Londoners are expected to move for a goalkeeper, a central defender and a midfielder at the very least, with betting syndicate Ladbrokes having this evening provided an update on the odds surrounding some of those most frequently-touted as potential Gunners’ signings over the last couple of weeks.

Highly-regarded Freiburg defender Çağlar Söyüncü is the most hotly-tipped to secure a move to the English capital, closely followed by Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri (who has also been heavily linked with Manchester United) and no-nonsense Borussia Dortmund stopper Sokratis Papastathopoulos:

Caglar Soyuncu – 1/8

Jean Michael Seri – 1/3

Sokratis – 1/3

Bernd Leno – EVS

Max Meyer – 5/4

Jonny Evans – 7/4

Malcom – 7/2

Kalidou Koulibaly – 4/1

William Carvalho – 9/2

James Tarkowski – 5/1

Ecobank Wins Best Digital Strategy Award

Pan-African Bank,  Ecobank has won the Best Digital Strategy Award at the Retail Banker International’s prestigious awards ceremony held at the

Pan-African Bank,  Ecobank has won the Best Digital Strategy Award at the Retail Banker International’s prestigious awards ceremony held at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London last week.

Ecobank’s digital strategy leverages digitalisation for scale and ubiquity and is the key plank in its ambition to be the top consumer financial services franchise in Africa and to achieve its target of serving 100 million customers.

The Ecobank Mobile App, which has already been downloaded by over 5 million people, is a unified banking app serving 33 African countries, enabling 24/7 banking services and transactions in 18 different currencies and in four major languages: English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

Ade Ayeyemi, CEO of Ecobank said: “This award is a real vote of confidence for the hard work of everyone at Ecobank and the massive strides that we have made in meeting the changing ways that consumers are demanding to engage with their bank. I’m delighted that Ecobank has achieved this recognition and rest assured that it will strengthen our determination to be the bank of choice for Africa by further developing our products and services to meet our customers’ needs.”

“Ecobank’s digital strategy leverages innovative technology to give Africans the convenience of 24/7 banking wherever and whenever they want. As a pan-African bank we’re absolutely committed to meeting the rapidly changing demands for convenience and functionality that Africans need and demand. It’s part of our ethos and it is also a major step towards eradicating financial exclusion from the continent.”

Meghan Markle Confirms Her Father Will Not Walk Her Down The Aisle..WHO WILL?

Her statement shared on twitter reads, “Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for

Her statement shared on twitter reads, “Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health.

“I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday.”

The statement does not indicate who will walk her down the aisle, though many have speculated that it will be either her mother, Doria Ragland, her future father-in-law, Prince Charles, or her future brother-in-law Prince William.



*Dont be tired of Meghan news,more is coming in the next days..lol

Junkyard Gem: 2004 Hyundai XG350

Starting in the 1980s, Hyundai began selling rebadged Korean-built Mitsubishi Debonairs as Hyundai Grandeurs. By 1999, the Grandeur became an

Starting in the 1980s,
Hyundai began selling rebadged Korean-built
Mitsubishi Debonairs as Hyundai Grandeurs. By 1999, the Grandeur became an all-Hyundai design, and the image of Hyundai in the United States— finally recovering from the debacle of
the horrid first-generation Excel— had improved enough for a Hyundai
luxury car to make sense from a business standpoint. For the 2001 model year, the
Hyundai XG300 hit these shores, and it sold fairly well.

Hyundai was building very good cars by that time, and the idea of a luxury Hyundai didn't seem so farfetched to American car shoppers. A 3.5-liter V6 replaced the 3.0-liter engine in the
XG300 for 2002, and the
XG350 was sold through the 2005 model year, when it was replaced by the
Azera.

The 2004 XG350 was priced very reasonably for all the luxury you got, starting at just $23,999 (about $32,350 in 2018 dollars). Compare that to the $39,800 price tag on the most affordable
BMW 5-Series that year, or even the $26,040 for a new
2004 Buick LeSabre.

Those cars had more power than the XG350, with its 194-horse V6 driving the front wheels, but it was hard to argue with the car-per-dollar ratio of the big Hyundai.

Sadly, South Korean luxury cars in the United States during the early-to-mid-2000s, from the
Daewoo Leganza to the
Suzuki Verona, didn't hold their value so well, and many third and fourth owners didn't give them the maintenance they needed. I see lots of these cars in self-service wrecking yards, among
all the other South Korean machinery, during
my junkyard travels.

In the United States,
advertising for the XG was all about suburban virtues and the big factory
warranty.

In South Korea, though, the Grandeur's advertising was all about pure schmaltz-drenched
luxury.

EFCC Detains Senator For Receiving N303m Vehicles

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested the lawmaker representing Akwa Ibom North-East senatorial district, Senator Bassey Akpan,  for

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested the lawmaker representing Akwa Ibom North-East senatorial district, Senator Bassey Akpan,  for allegedly receiving vehicles worth N303m from oil magnate, Babajide Omokore, who is under trial for alleged fraud.

According to an EFCC report, Akpan while serving as a Commissioner for Finance under the government of Senator Godswill Akpabio, allegedly gave contracts to Omokore worth billions of naira.

The vehicles were believed to be kickbacks. It was learnt that Akpan was arrested by the anti-graft agency on Tuesday.

The EFCC Spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the arrest to our correspondent via a text message. On when the senator was arrested, Uwujaren stated,  “Yes, he was brought in yesterday (Tuesday).”

An EFCC report revealed that the vehicles Akpan allegedly received from Omokore ranged from Range Rover luxury cars to campaign buses and trucks that were bought with the proceeds of fraud.

The report accused Akpan of receiving vehicles worth N303m from Omokore while he was the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Finance as well as the Chairman of the Inter-ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee,  whose job was to ensure that the government projects were completed using direct labour to save some money for the state.

Two of Omokore’s companies — Bay Atlantic Energy and Sahel Energy — were said to have received contracts from the committee headed by Akpan.

Punch