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South Africa is Going on Total Lockdown Amid Coronavirus Crisis

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South African Government has announced that the nation will be going into total lockdown from Thursday March 26.

Cyril Ramaphosa, South African President announced this after Coronavirus cases in the country increased from 274 to 402 on Monday, March 23.

According to Ramaphosa, the stay-at-home order will be effective from March 26th till April 16th.

However, this order does not apply to essential services personnel, including police, health care workers and those involved in the supply of goods, including food.

Also Read: CORONAVIRUS: ASO VILLA SHUTS DOWN AS BUHARI’S CHIEF OF STAFF ABBA KYARI TESTS POSITIVE

DISASTER MANAGEMENT : THE BEST APPROACH

He said in his address to the nation;

“We need to urgently and dramatically escalate our response. The next few days are crucial. Without decisive action the number of people infected will rapidly increase.

This is extremely dangerous for a population like ours, which has a a large number of people with suppressed immunity because of HIV and TB, and high levels of poverty and malnutrition.”

South Africa which is currently in recession will be the third country in Africa to close down all but essential economic activity, after Rwanda and Tunisia.

From figures released by South Africa’s Health Ministry, more than half of South Africa’s total cases are in Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg, the country’s largest city with 5.7 million people, and the capital, Pretoria, with 2.4 million.

Though no coronavirus death has been recorded in the country, majority of people infected are travelers from Europe and other countries. The number of cases that are locally transmitted is also rising.

With the 128 new cases, South Africa as of Monday had the most virus cases in Africa, surpassing Egypt.

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Economy

Twitter makes Ghana its headquarters in Africa, Nigerians React

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Twitter makes Ghana its headquarters in Africa, Nigerians React

Twitter announced today that the company is now in Africa, with its headquarters in Ghana.

“Twitter is now present on the continent. Thank you Ghana and @NakufoAddo,” Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey tweeted today, April 12.

Abubakar Suleiman, the CEO of Sterling Bank, has weighed in on the conversation about Twitter making Ghana its headquarters in African.

Nigerians reacted to the fact that Ghana, and not Nigeria, was chosen to be the headquarters.

Then Suleiman tweeted: “First you tell the world Nigeria is a zoo.. Then you hear @TwitterSF has chosen @GhanaPresidency as their WA headquarters & you are wondering why.

ALSO READ;

“If you can’t sell yourself, nobody will buy you. Nigeria remains the heartbeat of Africa, our current struggles notwithstanding.”

Bank CEO, Abubakar Suleiman blames Nigerians who bad-mouth the country for Twitter’s decision to make Ghana its headquarters in Africa

See Nigerians Reactions Below;

A number of his followers took to the comments to disagree with him and he doubled down, writing: “I think everyone sells. And we should showcase the good things in our country even as we critic the shortcomings..”

 

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Economy

CBN crashes liquidity mop-up activities, raises treasury bills

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CBN reduces liquidity mop up activities through Treasury bills

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) drastically reduced its liquidity mop up activities through treasury bills by 81 percent, year-on-year, y/y, to N793 billion in the first quarter of the year (Q1’21).

The apex bank, among other things, controls money supply (liquidity) in the economy by issuing or purchasing secondary market treasury bills, also known as Open Market Operations (OMO) when it wants to reduce money supply, while it injects liquidity by purchasing OMO treasury bills.

The CBN reduced the amounts of OMO bills offered by 80 per cent, y/y, to N858 billion in Q1’21, from N4.26 trillion in Q1’2020.  Similarly, the amount of bills sold fell by 81 per cent, y/y, to N793 billion in Q1’21  from N4.44 trillion in Q1’2020.  In the same vein, the amount of OMO TBs demanded by the banks and FPIs  (public subscription)  fell by 41 per cent, y/y, to N3.13 trillion in Q1’21 from N5.31 trillion in Q1’2020.

Further analysis of OMO TBs sold in Q1’21 showed that the CBN offered N103 billion worth of 91-Days bills but sold N85 billion while the public subscription stood at N248.6 billion.

Meanwhile the apex bank raised yields (interest rate) on the  OMO TBs apparently to increase the attractiveness of the bills to foreign portfolio investors, FPIs, and enhance foreign exchange inflow.  Financial Vanguard analysis showed that average yield (stop rate) for  OMO bills rose  by 4.55 percentage points to 8.53 per cent at the end of March from 3.98 per cent at the end of December last year.

The CBN raised the stop rate for 91-Days OMO bills by 5.3 percentage points to 7.0 per cent in  March from 1.61 per cent in December. It also raised the stop rate for  182-Days OMO bills by 4.05 percentage points to 8.5 per cent in March from 4.45 per cent in December. Similarly, the stop rate for  365-Days bills rose by 4.2 percentage points to 10.1 per cent in March from 5.9 per cent in December.

These were in sharp contrast to the downward trend recorded last year  when average yield on OMO TBs crashed by 8.13 percentage points as the CBN slashed stop rate for  91-Days, 182-Days, 365-Days OMO bills respectively  by 9.87 percentage points, 7.15 percentage points and 7.36 percentage points respectively from 11.48 per cent, 11.6 per cent and 13.26 per cent at the beginning of the year.

While citing this reversal in the yields on OMO TBs and other fixed income instruments as a factor behind the negative performance of the Nigeria Stock Exchange, NSE, in Q1’21, analysts at United Capital Plc,  projected that the upward trend in yields on fixed income instruments will persist in Q2’21. They said:

“Like we noted, the bearish sentiment in the equity market has been stoked by fast-paced reversal in the yield environment. The peak of the reversal appears to be distant even though the pace of increase at recent auctions (Bonds & T-bills) seems to have slowed. We expect upward pressure on yields to garner pace later in Q2-2020 depending on the outcome of the May MPC meeting as well as data from economic recovery.”

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Economy

CBN gets order to freeze 194 accounts in 17 banks

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CBN gets order to freeze 194 accounts in 17 banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has secured three separate interim orders from a Federal High Court in Abuja to freeze bank accounts linked to 194 business entities and individuals in 17 banks.

This was contained in a post by the apex bank on its website yesterday pursuant to the court order. The freeze orders were sequel to three exparte applications filed by the apex bank seeking a mandatory order of the court to ask the 17 banks to freeze the account of the business organizations and individual pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation the apex bank had initiated.

In one of the suits against Nuru Abubakar and 24 others, the court granted the request by CBN to freeze the account of the defendants in the banks for 45 days. Justice A.R Muhammed who made the order in his ruling on March 30, 2021, said: “An interim order is hereby made empowering the applicant to direct the head office of the listed banks to freeze forthwith all transactions on the bank account of the defendants for a period of 45 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by CBN.”

ALSO READ;

In another suit filed by CBN against Sethwealth Ventures and two others, the court granted an exparte application by the apex bank to freeze 50 accounts linked to the three defendants in 13 banks. A similar order was also made in the suit by CBN against Bluebeam Capital Ltd freezing 60 accounts of the company in 13 banks.

The 17 banks affected are Access Bank, First City Monument Bank, Fidelity Bank, Sterling Bank, Keystone Bank, Providus Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Wema Bank and First Bank. Others are Guaranty Trust Bank, Ecobank Bank, Heritage Bank, Polaris Bank, Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Union Bank.

The companies affected include Bluebeam Capital Limited, Sethwealth Ventures, Seasons Bureau De Change, Lat-Ade Logistics, Sani Polo Global Investment Ltd, Saneo Global Resources Limited and Romvic Ventures Nigeria Limited.

 

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