Friday, 17 March 2017

Buhari Approves Release of More London-Paris Club Refunds to Governors

Despite allegations that some state governors diverted the first tranche of London-Paris Club refunds which was released to the states last year to enable them offset the salary arrears of their workers, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday asked the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to immediately release the second tranche of the London-Paris Club refunds to the states to ease their financial difficulties.
The president, according to a statement by his media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu, gave the directive while addressing the National Economic Council (NEC), comprising the governors, finance minister and other appointees of the federal government such as the Director-General of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

It's what Trump didn't say with Merkel that worries Europe

President Donald Trump's press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel following the pair's meeting was largely positive, but there was one thing Trump didn't address that could be a problem, according to Nick Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO.
"If you were listening for U.S. support for the EU, you didn't hear it from President Trump. Europeans are worried about that," Burns said in an interview with "Power Lunch" on Friday.
"He's the first American president since Truman to be so negative about the project of building European unity. That's a problem."

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Fed raises rates as job gains, firming inflation stoke confidence

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen arrives at a news conference after a two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas


The U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday for the second time in three months, a move spurred by steady economic growth, strong job gains and confidence that inflation is rising to the central bank's target.
The decision to lift the target overnight interest rate by 25 basis points to a range of 0.75 percent to 1.00 percent marked a convincing step in the Fed's effort to return monetary policy to a more normal footing.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen pointed to growing faith in the economy's trajectory.
"We have seen the economy progress over the last several months in exactly the way we anticipated," Yellen said in a press conference following the end of a two-day policy meeting. "We have some confidence in the path the economy is on."

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Could the next Messi come from Nigeria as Barcelona launches Lagos academy?

One of the world's biggest and most successful clubs, Barcelona, is launching a football academy in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub.
The academy, in Africa's biggest city, is the first of its kind on the continent. It is modelled on Barcelona's flagship La Masia Academy in Spain which has produced stars such as Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Xavi.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Somalia Mogadishu car bomb: At least 34 people killed

Civilians stand near a car destroyed in an explosion at the Madina district of Somalia (19 February 2017)

Source: BBC - February 20, 2017

At least 34 people have been killed and about 50 injured in a car bomb blast in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The car blew up in the city's southern Madina district, officials say.
The blast - which ripped through shops and food stalls - is the first major attack in the capital since the election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed earlier this month.
No group has claimed responsibility, although al-Shabab militants are likely to be the prime suspects.
On Saturday a senior al-Shabab commander vowed to target the president's supporters.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

South Africa’s political woes couldn’t come at a worse time for its troubled economy.

South African president Jacob Zuma

Source: CNBC - February 18, 2017

South Africa, once a standout emerging market economy, is caught in the middle of a political hurricane that's adding impetus to a downward economic spiral.
A week after chaos erupted at his annual speech—which resulted in soldiers having to be summoned to parliament—President Jacob Zuma appears increasingly isolated politically. A growing number of investors say that is proving to be a distraction from what requires Zuma's urgent attention, namely the economy.
Zuma's political turmoil is taking place against a backdrop of sky-high unemployment, stagnant growth and a credit rating dancing on the edge of junk. Since last year, Zuma's government has pulled out all the stops to avert a possible downgrade, but the country's turbulent politics have complicated his task.
With the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) schedule to meet next on March 30th, market analysts are widely expecting the central bank to keep rates at 7 percent, in order to help curb higher-than-expected inflation.

Trump administration drafts plan to raise asylum bar, speed deportations

Source: REUTERS - February 18, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security has prepared new guidance for immigration agents aimed at speeding up deportations by denying asylum claims earlier in the process.
The new guidelines, contained in a draft memo dated February 17 but not yet sent to field offices, directs agents to only pass applicants who have a good chance of ultimately getting asylum, but does not give specific criteria for establishing credible fear of persecution if sent home.
The guidance instructs asylum officers to "elicit all relevant information" in determining whether an applicant has “credible fear” of persecution if returned home, the first obstacle faced by migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border requesting asylum.