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Thread: Latest Nigerian News from Forex Forum Nigeria.
  1. #541
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    UK workers get biggest pay rise in a decade

    British workers had their biggest pay rise in a decade in the three months to October as the country’s strong labour market showed no sign of weakening ahead of Brexit, official figures showed on Tuesday.

    Average weekly earnings, including bonuses, rose by 3.3 percent on the year, their biggest rise since the three months to July 2008 and comfortably beating a median forecast of 3.0 percent in a Reuters poll of economists.

    The Bank of England, which has said it will need to raise interest rates gradually to offset inflation pressures from the labour market, has forecast slower wage growth for the end of 2018 than Tuesday’s official figures suggest.

    Total earnings, excluding bonuses, also rose by an annual 3.3 percent in the three months to October, the Office for National Statistics said, the biggest rise since the end of 2008.

    With unemployment at close to its lowest level since the 1970s — 4.1 percent in the three months to October — employers have begun raising pay for staff more quickly.

    The pace of wage rises remains slower than the 4 percent increases seen before the financial crisis but real earnings, adjusted for inflation, rose nonetheless by the fastest since the end of 2016, up 1.1 percent.

    The number of people in work rose by 79,000 in the three months to October, more than any forecast in the Reuters poll.

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    I want our children to have greater choices- Obasanjo

    He spoke on Tuesday at the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) being held in Cairo, Egypt.

    Obasanjo said the fair came after the successful signing of the AfCFTA, which seeks to enhance trade and economic growth across Africa, and expressed conviction that the IATF would contribute immensely to the implementation of the AfCFTA.

    Obasanjo described the trade fair as a crucial instrument in making the AfCFTA work and said that Africa should focus on “what trade is needed, where the markets are, the size of, and the standards in those markets, and how to join the value chains that serve them”.

    “It is our duty to create the environment where the entrepreneurial spirit of Africans can succeed,” he said. “Stronger economies yield the rewards of better health, education, improved employment opportunities and prosperity for all. I want our future generations to have greater expectations, greater choices and greater opportunities to succeed.

    “It should be their right and I want this to become the norm rather than the exception.” he added.

    The President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Benedict Oramah, in his remarks called for the implementation of initiatives that will add meaning to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

    The opening ceremony included a ribbon cutting ceremony by President Obasanjo to declare the IATF open.

    Transactions worth about $25 billion are expected to be concluded at the IATF which has almost 1,100 registered exhibitors from 42 countries.

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    Blame businessmen for poor electricity not FG, Fashola tells Nigerians

    The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has told Nigerians to blame businessmen who operate the power sector for poor power supply in the country.

    He argued that the federal government had already privatised the sector. Fashola, who spoke Wednesday night at the December edition of Nextier Power Dialogue in Abuja, drew an allusion to the telecommunication sector when he said people do not hold the minister of telecommunication responsible for poor services.

    He said: “If your telephone is not working, it is not the minister of communication that you go to. Let us be very clear.”

    Referring to the situation in the power sector and the many outcries for improved power supply, the minister said: “For those of you who want to weaponise electricity, face the businessmen who have taken it up. Let us be honest. If your bank over-charges you interest, is it the minister of finance you go to?

    “This is now a private business by Act of Parliament 2005,” Fashola maintained, recalling the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) 2005 that laid the ground works for the power sector privatisation of 2013.

    Despite saying his role has been restricted, the Daily Trust reports that under Fashola’s watch, his ministry started building the 240 megawatts (MW) Afam Fast Power since 2016, and is procuring a N72 billion distribution expansion project to enhance some Distribution Companies (DisCos).

    This paper also report that the federal government retained 40 per cent stakes in the 10 DisCos and operates Yola DisCo since 2015 with the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPE) serving on the DisCos’ boards.

    While some of the GenCos were concessioned and others sold off at higher stakes, the federal government could still wield control on them if it has a robust umpire in which case is the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission

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