| Africatime
Tuesday 25 April 2017
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
Nigeria’s central bank will let the market determine the naira’s rate in a new foreign-exchange window for portfolio investors as the nation struggles to revive its economy amid a dollar shortage. Naira forward contracts and banking stocks rose. Governor Godwin Emefiele told senior bankers that he would tolerate the naira weakening in the window, which started today, according to a person who attended meetings with the policy maker over the past two weeks. While that may cause the currency to depreciate to its black-market level, the central bank probably won’t devalue the interbank exchange rate, the person said, declining to be identified because
(Bloomberg 04/22/17)
A smartphone manufacturer has set up its first factory in Nigeria’s commercial hub of Lagos to provide Africa’s biggest mobile market with low-cost smartphones amid an economic recession. AfriOne’s devices, using the Android operating system, will cost from 29,000 naira ($92) to 33,000 naira, targeting middle-income buyers in a country of about 180 million people, according to Lekan Akinjide, director of strategy and government coordination at the company. Its first factory has an installed capacity to produce 120,000 units per month, with one other factory planned, he said Friday at an event in Lagos. Parent company Contec Global invested $10 million in the project. Cheaper smartphones are pushing internet penetration in Nigeria, with most people getting online via mobile devices...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
Wheat growers in Nigeria’s northeast have abandoned their farms under the onslaught of the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency, a setback for the country’s efforts to cut imports by boosting local production, a research agency said. “Wheat production in the zone has declined to just 20 percent of what it used to be due to insurgency,” Oluwashina Olabanji, executive director of the Lake Chad Research Institute, said in an interview in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital. Borno,...
(CNN 04/20/17)
Nigeria's spy chief has been suspended amid reports that a $43 million stash seized in a widely trumpeted apartment raid belonged to his agency. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Ayodele Oke, director-general of the National Intelligence Agency, over the April 12 raid, Buhari aide Femi Adesina said. When Nigeria's anti-corruption agency raided an upscale apartment in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city, agents found more than $43 million as well as 23.2 million naira (Nigerian currency worth about $76,000) and £27,800 (about...
(BBC News Africa 04/20/17)
Prosecutors in the northern Nigeria state of Kaduna have charged a group of 53 people with conspiring to celebrate a gay wedding. The accused, arrested last Saturday, have denied the allegations, with their lawyers saying they were illegally detained. The court released the group on bail and the case was remanded to 8 May. Homosexual acts are banned in socially conservative Nigeria and are punishable by up to 14 years in jail. During a court appearance in Chediya-Zaria, the group...
(Financial Times 04/20/17)
Top civil servant suspended over humanitarian crisis contracts. Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president, has ordered an investigation into a senior civil servant linked to missing funds meant to avert famine in the north-east of the country. Mr Buhari, who pledged to fight widespread corruption when he won elections two years ago, suspended David Babachir Lawal, his cabinet secretary, pending the outcome of the probe into allegations that he had broken the law in awarding contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari suspended two senior administration officials linked to graft allegations and ordered an investigation, the presidency said. David Lawal, secretary to the government, is being probed for alleged violations of “law and due process” in the award of contracts, presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said Wednesday in an emailed statement. Ayo Oke, head of the National Intelligence Agency, is facing investigation over the discovery of $38 million and other currencies in cash said to belong to the agency...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start...
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
The World Bank cut its growth projection for sub-Saharan Africa this year because of weak expansion in the region’s three biggest economies. The area’s gross domestic product will expand 2.6 percent in 2017, the bank said in an emailed copy of its Africa Pulse report Wednesday. That compares with a January projection of 2.9 percent and matches the International Monetary Fund’s prediction released this week. “The region’s three largest economies -- Angola, Nigeria, and South Africa -- are projected to...
(Voice of America 04/19/17)
The World Food Program is sounding the alarm over a severe funding shortfall in Nigeria that could endanger the lives of 4.7 million people affected by hunger in the nation's volatile northeast. The U.N. agency has received just under 15 percent of the $416 million it needs for its operations in Nigeria this year. In the next five or six months, says WFP Acting Regional Communications Officer Elizabeth Bryant, the U.N. agency needs $200 million to keep feeding Nigeria's hunger-stricken...
(Bloomberg 04/18/17)
Nigeria will revive oil production this summer as it completes maintenance and repairs, and expects fellow OPEC members to continue to cut their output in the second half of the year, Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu said. Africa’s second-biggest producer will finish repairs on the Forcados pipeline by June and complete maintenance at the Bonga oilfield the following month, Kachikwu said in a Bloomberg Television interview. The country’s output slumped to 1.27 million barrels a day last month, the lowest in...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that...
(The New York Times 04/12/17)
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is poised to sell up to 12 light attack aircraft to Nigeria to support the country’s fight against the Boko Haram militant group, despite criticism from human rights organizations that the West African country has not done enough to stop the abuses and corruption that flourish in the military. The pending move is the third time in three years that the United States has moved toward selling the Super Tucano attack planes, a transaction that...
(Voice of America 04/12/17)
At least 489 people have died from a meningitis outbreak in Nigeria, according to Nigeria's Minister of Health Isaac Adewole. During an emergency health meeting in the Nigerian state of Kaduna, Adewole said most of the victims are children aged 5 to 14. Local and international health workers met with traditional rulers from Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim northern region to discuss how to contain and stop the outbreak. Northern Nigeria’s traditional Islamic rulers wield enormous influence. Many people trust them over...
(Bloomberg 04/07/17)
The Nigerian government is offering such good rates on bonds and Treasury bills that the country’s banks would rather tie their money up in state debt than lend to businesses or consumers. “Banks in Nigeria have a reduced incentive to lend to the private sector because of the favorable interest on government securities,” Akintunde Majekodunmi, a banking analyst at Moody’s Investors Service, said by phone from London on Wednesday. “They have increased appetite for government securities, which may cannibalize private-sector...
(Bloomberg 04/06/17)
Nigeria’s budget gap will probably be larger than the government estimates this year because the West African nation’s revenue from taxes and state companies will be lower than forecast, the International Monetary Fund said. The federal government’s budget deficit may reach 3.7 percent of gross domestic product this year, higher than its projected gap of 2.8 percent, the fund said in a so-called article IV report Wednesday that followed meetings with Nigerian officials. The gap was 2.8 percent last year,...
(Bloomberg 04/06/17)
China is set to import record amounts of crude oil from West Africa this month as OPEC’s supply cuts pave the way for other nations to gain a greater foothold in the fast-growing Asian market. West African producers led by Angola and Nigeria are poised to send crude to China at the rate of 1.48 million barrels a day in April, the most since Bloomberg began compiling the data in August 2011, according to loading programs and traders. Overall Asian...
(Bloomberg 04/06/17)
Biogaran SAS, a closely held French pharmaceuticals manufacturer, plans to tap into Nigeria’s $1.3 billion drugs market as a launchpad for its expansion into Africa, company President Pascal Briere said. The unit of France’s second-largest drug maker, Les Laboratoires Servier, last month acquired Nigeria’s Swipha Ltd after an initial $500,000 investment. Biogaran expects Nigeria’s pharmaceuticals industry to grow by more than 12 percent annually. “We found that Nigeria is well adapted for what we want to do,” Briere said in...
(BBC News Africa 04/06/17)
Nigeria has started a mass vaccination programme in a bid to stop an outbreak of meningitis. More than 300 people have died of the disease since late last year. Medical officials are focusing efforts on Zamfara state, in the northwest, which is the centre of the outbreak. Nigeria's Centre for Disease Control says 500,000 vaccinations will be administered, but many more doses are needed in order to protect a large part of the population. An additional stock of 800,000 are...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but...

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