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News roundup: Trading platform bypass CBN, FG warns protesters, Mastercard to transact in crypto, Bitcoin…


IMF says Nigeria needs 5 million jobs annually for the next 10 years to tackle unemployment
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Nigeria might not be ready to absorb the number of jobless people that would join the already existing ones over the next ten years except quick actions are taken. The number of jobless Nigerians rose to 27.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, up from 23.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2018. According to a recent report by the IMF, Nigeria would have 54 million new entrants in the labour force over the next decade. This means the Nigerian economy will need to create at least 5 million new jobs each year for the next ten years to bridge the unemployment gap, the IMF says.

FG warns protesters against #OccupyLekkiTollGate rally
The Nigerian government has warned against planned protests to demand justice for victims of a shooting during peaceful demonstrations in Lagos last year demanding the dissolution of a notorious police unit long accused of abuses. Nigerians who participated in the hijacked #EndSARS protest are championing a campaign tagged: #OccupyLekkiTollGate after the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses decided to reopen the Lekki Tollgate last Saturday. Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, warned that government will resist the proposed protest and not negotiate with the promoters. He also added that while peaceful protests are the constitutional rights of Nigerians, violent protests are not. Toll gates are also not approved for protests.
Federal high court orders CBN to unfreeze accounts of protesters
The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to unfreeze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS campaigners targeted by the apex bank after last year’s anti-police brutality demonstrations. Ahmed Mohammed, the judge, gave the order on Wednesday after counsel to the CBN and the legal representative of the protesters agreed to end the case. The 20 account holders affected by the freezing order had participated in or contributed to the #EndSARS protests which were triggered by grievances arising from years of harassment and rights violations by operatives of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The Judge gave the order on the back of Central Bank of Nigeria allegations that the 20 defendants were suspected of terrorism financing.

Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare receives Guinness world record certificate
Nigerian sprinter, Blessing Okagbare, has set new records as she has received a Guinness world record as the athlete with the most Diamond League appearances. Okagbare, 32, had already broken Usain Bolt’s record since 2015. The Guinness World Record certificate indicates that Blessing has the most appearances in Diamond League meetings, having participated at 67 Diamond League events between July 3, 2010, and August 31, 2018.
Kenyan woman’s recycles plastic into bricks that are stronger than concrete
An absolutely brilliant young woman in Kenya has started a company manufacturing bricks from recycled plastic. Nzambi Matee, a nairobi-based 29-year-old entrepreneur and inventor started to recycles plastic waste into bricks that are stronger than concrete. Nzambi Matee says she was “tired of being on the sidelines” while civil servants struggled against plastic waste in the capital city of Nairobi, so the materials engineer created a product that is 5 to 7 times stronger than concrete. In a day her factory churns 1500 plastic pavers which are not just of good quality but also affordable.

First civilian governor of Lagos, Lateef Jakande dies at 91
Lateef Jakande, the first civilian governor of Lagos state has passed on by the age of 91. Jakande was a former journalist before he became governor of Lagos State from 1979 to 1983, and later was Minister of Works under the Sani Abacha military regime. His administration as governor of Lagos state is still revered for the massive infrastructural development recorded during his four-year stint especially the numerous Jakande Estates built across many local governments in the State as well as sterling investment in schools “Baba Jakande’s record of service as a journalist of repute and a leader of remarkable achievements as governor of Lagos State will remain indelible for generations to come. His death is a colossal loss and he will be missed,” the Lagos StateGovernor said in a tweet.
Mastercard to allow customers transact in crypto
Mastercard said it will offer support for customers to transact in some select cryptocurrencies this year. “We are preparing right now for the future of crypto and payments, this year Mastercard will start supporting select cryptocurrencies directly on our network,” Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice president of digital asset products said in a blog on Wednesday. Mastercard already allows cardholders to spend digital assets via external platforms. But this means the transaction doesn’t actually go through its own network. But now, the company aims to support crypto partners by allowing many more merchants to accept digital tokens. This would “cut out inefficiencies, letting both consumers and merchants avoid having to convert back and forth between crypto and traditional to make purchases,” Dhamodharan wrote.

Bitcoin rockets to rockets to record high of $48,000 after Elon Musk’s Tesla buys up $1.5 billion
Days after Nigeria placed a ban on trading in Cryptocurrencies, the bitcoin price jumped to an all-time high of above $48,000 on Tuesday morning as investors rushed into the asset after Elon Musk’s Tesla said it had bought up $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin rival ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network, also rose sharply to record highs as the Tesla-driven rally spread to other cryptocurrencies.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala set to make history as first woman and African head of World Trade Organization
Six men have served as director-general of the World Trade Organization since its founding in 1995 but that is set to change as Nigerian-born Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is set to become the first woman and the first African to serve as the head of the World Trade Organization. This comes after her only contender dropped out of the race and the US administration offered its support, ending a deadlock caused by former president Donald Trump’s opposition. Okonjo-Iweala is a former two-time minister of finance in Nigeria, and a recently confirmed US citizen, Okonjo-Iweala spent 25 years as a development economist at the World Bank.
Trading platform launches payment gateway to bypass CBN policy six days after memo
Binance, one of the largest trading platforms for cryptocurrency has launched a peer-to-peer trading platform days after the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) directives to all banks to prohibit crypto trading in the country. Although Binance shut down all its Naira trading platform after Central Bank’s announcement but six days later the platform announced another method to buy and sell cryptocurrency in Nigeria. The new trading method is named NGN FIAT and it allows Nigerians trade with zero transaction fees using Bank Transfer and other payment methods.

IMF sees dangote refinery’s potential of bailing Nigeria from economic downturn
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), is projecting that Nigeria’s Dangote Refinery would provide an elixir for the country’s economy when it begins production in 2022. In its latest report on Nigeria’s economy, the Fund raises the hope that the start of production from the refinery, solely owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote could help Nigeria improve its Current Account balance. It said Dangote Refinery has the potential to catalyze more domestic crude oil production and boost GDP growth.



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