We’re sending this week’s newsletter with love and light because the National Union of Electricity Employees has suspended its nationwide strike. If you live in Nigeria we doubt you noticed the difference.
Reminder: Next week’s newsletter is the last for the year.
Let’s dive into the news 😊
Nigeria’s President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari earlier this week announced a visa on arrival policy for all Africans coming to Nigeria during an African Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development in Egypt.
What this means
It should be easier for any African to visit Nigeria for any reason. While the specifics of this policy hasn’t been outlined we hope the Nigerian Government would factor in the Pros and Cons of such a bold statement.
Pros: Africa has always taken steps to be more like Europe, a region made up of seamlessly connected states. If this policy becomes a reality the ease of movement would foster better trade and movement of manpower.
Case in Point: Even Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote has said he needs 38 visas to travel within Africa on his Nigerian passport. A recent AU report found that Africans can travel without a visa to just 22% of other African countries.
Con: Nigeria’s somewhat autocratic leadership is known to change its mind on national policies overnight.
Case in Point: Buhari few months ago ordered the closure of Nigeria’s borders with her neighbours, Benin Republic and Niger Republic. The closure was done without any notice and was seen as a threat to the signed economic pact African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).
Why it matters to you
Expect other African countries to extend the goodwill to Nigeria, travelling around Africa is about to get easier.
Case in Point: Citizens of only 15 African nations can travel to South Africa without a visa, yet holders of 28 different European passports can enter the country freely. When asked why this is so, a South African representative said visa waivers are given based on reciprocity, hence it’s on a tit for tat basis.
In 2007, Lagos put in place a law that gave ex-governors a humongous life pension, 6 new cars every 3 years, a retinue of domestic servants and security personnel, as well as a house in Lagos and Abuja for those who served two terms.
At least 21 other states have followed suit.
Question: Can salary owing Nigerian states really afford this lavish remuneration given to already rich ex governors?
According to the latest foreign trade report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s total foreign trade (value of exports and imports) rose to N9.18 trillion in the third quarter (Q3) of 2019, up from N8.60 trillion recorded in the previous quarter (Q2).
Trade Balance: The increase in exports coupled with the decrease in imports led to a positive trade balance of N1.38 trillion.
Trade Partners: Nigeria exported most products to Europe (N1.86 trillion or 35%), followed by Africa (N1.45 trillion or 27.6%), Asia (N1.36 trillion or 25.74%), America (N598.3billion or 11.3%) and Oceania (N8.1 billion or 0.1%).
Nigeria imported goods mainly from Asia (N1.99 trillion or 51.3%), followed by Europe (N1.19 trillion or 30.6%), Americas (N576.7 billion or 14.8%), Africa (N106.0 billion or 2.7%) and Oceania (N23.8 billion or 0.6%)
Why it matters
When a country’s exports are greater than its imports, it has a trade surplus. This implies Nigeria’s trade surplus rose within the period and this is good for the economy. Nigeria’s diversification also seems to be yielding positive results as non-oil exports grew more than oil exports.
Big Picture: Despite the improvement in total trade, Nigeria is still largely an oil-dependent economy, as the country’s oil export constituted 70.87% of total export revenue in the period.
Quiz: What is the Merriam Webster’s word of the year (2019)?
Answer at the end of the newsletter
Before electing him as Gambian president in 2017, Adama Barrow, agreed to an MOU signed by members of his coalition leaders, stating that if he wins, he would step down after three years to give room for someone else.
Okay, let’s get this clear
Before 2017, Gambia was running an authoritarian government where leaders operate solely on isolationism. Former president Yahya Jammeh ruled for 22 years and had become a pain in the neck. Gambia wanted him out by all means. A coalition was formed with Barrow as the presidential candidate who would only be allowed to run if he agreed to a three year tenure of leadership. He agreed and Gambia voted massively for him.
|So what’s up with him now? |
Apparently their constitution sets out a five-year term for a democratic leader, so now Barrow says he doesn’t think his “gentleman agreement” will override what the constitution says.
Coalition leaders feel betrayed and now he is mandated to keep his words.
Will he do it or perhaps, risk getting yanked off like his predecessor?
Namibia has decided to retain its incumbent for another ruling period. After the general elections, Hage Geingob, won another tenure, although this time, he lost about two-thirds of the majority.
|What this means|
Although he won with a whopping 56.3%, this result shows a huge decline of his supporters, when comparing his support rate at 87% in 2014. Although the opposition doesn’t agree with the results — which isn’t unusual — Geingog is still Namibia’s president.
Earlier this week, voters hit the polls for a general election…and handed the Conservative Party a sweeping majority in Parliament. The win wasn’t unexpected. But this was a landslide, on track to be the best showing for the Conservative Party in more than 30 years. And the worst for the opposition Labour Party in more than 80.
How does voting work?
In a general election, the UK’s 46 million voters are invited to choose an MP for their area – one of 650 constituencies. Anyone aged 18 or over can vote, as long as they are registered and a British citizen or qualifying citizen of the Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland. The candidate with the most votes in each constituency is elected,
What about Brexit?
it more likely to happen. Boris Johnson had run on a campaign to “get Brexit done.” With this win behind him, it’s given his party more leverage to finish off the work already started by next month’s deadline.
One more thing: A record number of women have been elected to Parliament – beating its 2017 high.
Uber recently released its first safety report, revealing nearly 6,000 reports of sexual assaults over the last two years.
Indeed, with at least 4 cases every week, Uber has been getting a series of lawsuits from riders alleging sexual assault from drivers and in turn, drivers also go through the same ordeal.
Here is a little more gist
What is Uber doing about this mess?
Although some victims have refused to speak up, Uber does about 4 million rides every day and with these numbers, they have developed new features on the app, including one that allows you to call 911.
While Uber finds it hard to come to terms with these numbers, It takes pride in the fact that it’s setting the standard, as no other ride-hailing company has proactively shared these kinds of numbers. The move is being applauded by groups working to end sexual assault.
Unicorn, an e-scooter startup has shut down operations after spending all its cash on digital ads. Yes, you heard that right.
Also, the first 350 e-scooters which were pre-ordered at a sum of $699 each won’t be delivered and the company is not even issuing refunds on customers’ orders.
Is that even possible?
Yes it is actually happening. Unicorn’s CEO Nick Evans blamed the situation on advertising/marketing on Facebook and Google ads as well as loan repayment and a down payment on the scooters. The company plans to liquidate its remaining assets to provide partial refunds but Evans claims it is “looking unlikely”.
Why did it go bust?
Competition with rented scooters and other scooter companies proved to be Unicorn’s undoing. It also faced competition from cheaper Chinese models which cost about half the price of its e-scooter.
The dreaded market
Asides Unicorn, other companies operating in this market space have struggled to keep things afloat. Inboard technology, an electric skateboard startup is liquidating its intellectual property and assets after attempting to delve into the electric scooter business. Even big companies like Bird and Lyft have managed to stay afloat due to huge capital from investors, and have announced significant layoffs this year.
Who said this?
“I know for the third one I’m going to be a lot better. There’s a lot of responsibility being a champion of the world. I think the partying and all that stuff got the best of me. Next time it’ll be a lot better.”
Answer at the end of the newsletter
Source: Beautiful News
Merriam Webster’s word of the year – They, The singular “they” is a pronoun used to refer to a person whose gender identity is nonbinary. In September of this year, Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Sam Smith announced their decision to use gender neutral pronouns
Who said this: Andy Ruiz Jr after losing to Anthony Joshua last Saturday.
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